Cheerleader ACL and ankle injuries

Cheerleader ACL and ankle injuries

 3.3 million cheerleaders in US

The size of cheer squads ranges from 5 to 35 athletes. There are 3.3 million cheerleaders in the U.S., and 1.3 million cheer more than 60 days per year.

68% of all cheerleaders are between the ages of 7 to 17.  The average cheerleader is 13 years old.

Regular cheerleading activities

Regular cheerleading activities include:

  • Jumping
  • Landing
  • Pivoting

Regular cheerleading activities lead to injuries to virtually all parts of the body: arms, back, head, legs, knees and ankles.

Common injuries: Ankle and ACL

Ligament sprains are especially common in the ankles and knees. Cheerleaders, primarily girls and young women, experience:

  • Ankle sprains: Landing from stunt and leaps can lead to rolled ankles, especially on grass. Ankle injuries are the most common type of injury in cheerleading.
  • ACL tears: ACL (Anterior cruciate ligament injuries) tears make it difficult or impossible to put weight on the injured knee. Surgery is usually required to repair the ligament.

Cheerleading has the highest rate of catastrophic injury in sports, with 66 percent defined as severe enough as to possibly result in permanent disability, long-lasting medical conditions or a shortened life expectancy — in female athletes.

Solutions to ankle and knee injuries

Common solutions

Training and stretching are recommended for preventative measures. Wrapping knees and ankles are also advised. High cut boots and padding around the knee and ankle are common. Surgery is the most common solution to ACL tears. Seeing a doctor is recommended after an ankle or knee injury.

SEI’s innovative solution

Sports Engineering, Inc.’s (SEI) innovative sole technology can help cheerleaders avoid injuries with its split-sole and self-recovering, spring mechanism. To see a video on SEI’s sole technology, click here.