Sex comparison of familial predisposition to anterior cruciate ligament injury

Gregory D. Myer, Robert S. Heidt, Chad Waits, Samuel Finck, Denver Stanfield, Michael Posthumus, Timothy E. Hewett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Purpose: In an effort to identify risk factors for anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury, many potential risk factors have been proposed, including familial predisposition. However, no study has evaluated familial predisposition in male or females separately. The purpose of this study was to determine whether a familial predisposition to ACL injury exists in both males and females. Methods: One hundred and twenty (78 males and 42 females) patients who had undergone surgical ACL reconstruction were recruited as the ACL group, and 107 patients (67 males and 40 females) that had undergone arthroscopic partial menisectomy, with no previous history of ACL injury, were recruited as the referent control group. A familial ACL injury and subject particulars questionnaire was completed. Results: When all subjects were combined, the ACL group (20.0 %, 24 of 120) did not demonstrate a higher familial (first-degree relative) prevalence (n.s.) of ACL injury compared to the referent control group (15.0 %; 16 of 107 patients). When the data were stratified by sex, the male ACL group (19.2 %, 15 of 78) demonstrated a significantly higher familial (first-degree relative) prevalence (P = 0.02) of ACL injury compared to the male referent control group (7.5 %; 5 of 67 patients). There were no differences among the females (n.s.). Discussion: The results of this study show that male patients with ACL tears are more likely to have a first-degree relative with an ACL tear compared to male referent control subjects. Future research is warranted to better delineate sex-specific risk factors for ACL injuries could help guide intervention programs aimed at preventative treatment strategies, especially in high-risk families. Level of evidence: III.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)387-391
Number of pages5
JournalKnee Surgery, Sports Traumatology, Arthroscopy
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2014


  • Family history of injury
  • Genetics and neuromuscular performance
  • Genetics and sport
  • Injury prevention

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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