First ACL Program Customizable by Skill Level and Sport Type

HSS Sports Safety Aims to Reduce Injuries in Youth Athletes

New York, N.Y.—October 12, 2016

Approximately 250,000 ACL1 reconstructions occur in the U.S. each year, leading to over $2.5 billion in costs and many athletes spending extended time away from friends and teammates. Since the majority of ACL injuries are preventable, Hospital for Special Surgery has created a new training program based on injury prevention research that is customized to an athlete’s skill level and sport type.

"The HSS Sports Safety ACL Program emphasizes education for coaches, parents and athletes," said Dr. James Kinderknecht, primary care sports medicine physician and co-director of the Sports Safety Program. "It is imperative for all parties involved to understand how they can help contribute to the safety of young athletes."

The ACL Program was created under HSS Sports Safety, which was established in 2015 with a $2.76 million grant by HSS Board member James Dinan and his wife, Elizabeth Miller, through The Dinan Family Foundation.

The program, a five-year endeavor, is committed to raising awareness of effective sports injury prevention and reducing the risk of injury among athletes. Systemically reducing the risk of ACL injury through public awareness and education is the goal of the program’s first initiative.

As part of the ACL Program, coaches and parents of young athletes will participate in hands-on workshops that will help them to identify injury risk factors and understand the relationship between movement quality and sports performance. Coaches will also learn how to create Neurodynamic Reinforcement™ programs for their players while parents will learn how to use an ACL injury risk assessment tool with their children.

Coaches from around the tristate area have already begun participating in the workshops, taking the learnings back to their own rosters.

"One challenge that coaches face is to stay up to date in the ever-changing landscape of injury prevention and to be able to provide the best guidance to young athletes," said Jeff Ward, chief program officer at Asphalt Green. "The HSS Sports Safety workshops provide opportunities for coaches to learn how to implement customized warm-up activities with their players. Just as we teach proper technique for playing sports, it is equally important to be educating our players about safe and effective warm-up activities in order to prevent injury."

"As a sports medicine surgeon, I treat too many young patients with ACL tears," said Dr. Robert Marx, sports medicine surgeon and program co-director. "While there are other injury prevention programs out there, our initiative is unique as it’s customizable by skill level and type of sport. One size does not fit all – what may help prevent injuries in one athlete does not always help another."

Hospital for Special Surgery has a long tradition of providing care for elite and professional athletes. HSS is the official medical provider for the New York Giants, New York Mets, New York Knicks, New York Liberty Basketball and New York Red Bulls Soccer as well as the PGA of America and New York Road Runners for the New York City Marathon.  Hospital for Special Surgery was named the first National Medical Center of the United States Olympic Committee’s (USOC) National Medical Network. For years, HSS doctors have served Olympic athletes and hopefuls as the team physicians for USA Swimming, USA Basketball, USA Volleyball, and USA Rowing. HSS is also designated as a FIFA Medical Centre of Excellence (FMCE), one of only three hospitals in the U.S. to receive this distinction.

1 Am J Sports Med September 2, 2016 The Cost-Effectiveness of Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstruction in Competitive Athletes. Bruce A. Stewart, MD, MBA, Amit M. Momaya, MD, Marc D. Silverstein, MD and David Lintner, MD. Investigation performed at the Houston Methodist Hospital, Houston, Texas, USA

About Hospital for Special Surgery
Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS) is the world’s leading academic medical center focused on musculoskeletal health. HSS is nationally ranked No. 1 in orthopedics and No. 2 in rheumatology by U.S. News & World Report (2016-2017), and is the first hospital in New York State to receive Magnet Recognition for Excellence in Nursing Service from the American Nurses Credentialing Center four consecutive times. HSS has one of the lowest infection rates in the country. HSS is an affiliate of Weill Cornell Medical College and as such all Hospital for Special Surgery medical staff are faculty of Weill Cornell. The hospital's research division is internationally recognized as a leader in the investigation of musculoskeletal and autoimmune diseases. Hospital for Special Surgery is located in New York City and online at


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