Are ACL injuries more common on artificial turf?

There are many risk factors for ACL injuries, including genetics, hormones, neuromuscular control, shoes, weather, and more. Does the surface you play on affect that risk? I share my thoughts on that issue in this week’s Ask Dr. Geier video.

Chris asks:

Your thoughts on the turf versus natural grass and the risk of ACL injuries? It seems people disagree. Some articles show some increased risk on turf. Your thoughts?

It’s true that different studies have shown different results, with some showing athletes who play on artificial turf having higher rates of ACL injuries. Other studies show little difference between grass and turf. In this video, I explain why it is difficult to prove a link between playing surface and injury risk.

I also explain why artificial turf surfaces are more popular than ever. These new playing surfaces, with synthetic blades of grass woven into a mat and then filled with rubber are used from the professional levels down to high school.

Should athletes, or parents of young athletes, worry about injuries on these infill artificial turf playing fields?

Also read:
Ask Dr. Geier: Are ACL tears more common on grass or FieldTurf?
Questions about the safety of artificial turf fields

Please remember, while I appreciate your questions, I cannot and will not offer specific medical advice by email, online, on my show, or in the comments at the end of these posts. My responses are meant to provide general medical information and education. Please consult your physician or health care provider for your specific medical concerns.

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david-headshot I am an orthopaedic surgeon and sports medicine specialist in Charleston, South Carolina.

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