Anterior cruciate ligament injury mechanisms through a neurocognition lens: Implications for injury screening

Alli Gokeler*, Anne Benjaminse, Francesco Della Villa, Fillippo Tosarelli, Evert Verhagen, Jochen Baumeister

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleAcademicpeer-review


Athletes in team sports have to quickly visually perceive actions of opponents and teammates while executing their own movements. These continuous actions are performed under time pressure and may contribute to a non-contact ACL injury. However, ACL injury screening and prevention programmes are primarily based on standardised movements in a predictable environment. The sports environment provides much greater cognitive demand because athletes must attend their attention to numerous external stimuli and inhibit impulsive actions. Any deficit or delay in attentional processing may contribute to an inability to correct potential errors in complex coordination, resulting in knee positions that increase the ACL injury risk. In this viewpoint, we advocate that ACL injury screening should include the sports specific neurocognitive demands.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere001091
JournalBMJ Open Sport and Exercise Medicine
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 17 May 2021

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