Limb dominance as a potential etiologic factor in noncontact anterior cruciate ligament tears.

Matthew J. Matava, Angela K. Freehill, Sally Grutzner, William Shannon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

50 Scopus citations


A retrospective case series analysis of 80 patients (44 males and 36 females) who presented with acute, unilateral, noncontact anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tears was performed. The role of limb dominance as a possible etiologic factor in noncontact ACL tears was investigated and the gender-specific relationship was determined. Patients were questioned about the nature of their injury and asked to list their preferred upper and lower extremities for writing, throwing, and kicking-activities previously used to define upper and lower extremity dominance. The relationships between limb dominance, side of injury, and gender were assessed. Mean patient age was 27.8 years. The left knee was involved in 54% of patients and the right knee in 46%. Eighty-nine percent of the study group identified themselves as right-hand dominant for writing, 91% were right-hand dominant for throwing, and 89% were right-leg dominant for kicking. Overall, there was no significant correlation between the side of injury and dominant limb for writing (P=.84), throwing (P=.68), or kicking (P=.99). There also was no significant gender effect on the relationship between limb dominance and side of injury (P=.65). Limited numbers precluded an analysis of specific limb-dominant sports activities as potential risk factors. The results of this pilot study suggest limb dominance is not a significant etiologic factor for noncontact ACL tears.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)11-16
Number of pages6
JournalThe journal of knee surgery
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2002


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