ACL injuries can occur from direct contact to the knee, but in soccer, and especially with adolescent female players, non-contact awkward single-leg cuts, turns or landings are often the culprit. Defensive tackling (often with a sidestep movement) to reach out to separate an opponent from the ball and cutting to track an opponent have been shown as other potential risk factors for ACL injury.
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Ligament Knee Injuries in Soccer. Other injuries that can occur to the knee while playing soccer include injuries to the collateral ligaments. The most common collateral ligament injury is a tear of the MCL. In this circumstance, the athlete may collapse down towards the inside of their knee or sustain a contact injury to the outside of their knee and the MCL gives out.
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Symptoms that point towards knee ligament injury are: Moderate to Severe Pain. Swelling. Instability of the Knee. Inability to put any weight on the injured leg. There may also be a popping or snapping sensation at the time of the injury.
The injury rate in games is 9 times higher than the injury rate in training sessions, and occurs when a valgus stress is applied to the knee. Most MCL injuries (70%) are the result of a contact mechanism of injury including a collision, being tackled, and being blocked. The most common non-contact mechanism of injury is twisting or turning.