Knee Injury Prevention Program®

The Lurie Children's Institute for Sports Medicine​ offers the Knee Injury Prevention Program (KIPP®), a neuromuscular training program designed to reduce the risk of anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries among female adolescent athletes.

There are two components to KIPP:

  • KIPP for Coaches: A free training program to help coaches reduce the risk of ACL tears and other lower extremity injuries in female athletes. Coaches learn how to lead their athletes through a 15-minute knee injury prevention warm-up routine. Register for the online program.
  • KIPP for Girls: A six-week summer neuromuscular exercise program to help reduce girls’ risk for sports-related knee injuries, especially tears of the anterior cruciate ligament (ACLs).

The video below, produced by the American Academy of Pediatrics, features Cynthia LaBella, MD, and explains the importance of our neuromuscular training program for girls in sports.

About Knee Injuries

Each year in the United States more than 20,000 high school girls suffer serious sports-related knee injuries. In fact, girls are up to six times more likely to injure their anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) than boys in similar sports.

More than 70% of ACL injuries occur without any contact with another player, typically while the athlete lands from a jump or changes direction suddenly. An ACL injury at an early age is a life-changing event. Such injuries often require surgery and/or many months of rehabilitation. Regardless of treatment, ACL injuries are associated with a 10-fold increased risk for degenerative knee arthritis later in life. To address this, our sports medicine professionals have developed the KIPP program to help lower the risk of ACL injuries in female athletes.

Why Girls are More P​rone

Researchers are continuing to investigate the reasons for this gender disparity in ACL injury rates. To date, the most convincing evidence points to neuromuscular differences between girls and boys. Several studies have shown that girls tend to have less neuromuscular control of knee motion than boys while performing certain athletic tasks. During these tasks, girls tend to demonstrate less use of the hamstring muscles, less knee and hip flexion, and greater inward collapse of the knees than boys. These neuromuscular patterns have been associated with a greater risk for ACL injury.


The KIPP Program was launched with funding from the Chicago Fire Foundation and the Kohl's Cares program. Kohl's supports many other injury-prevention initiatives at the hospital. Learn more about the Play it Safe with Kohl's program.

​In the News

Dr. LaBella released a report in association with the American Academy of Pediatrics detailing the importance of neuromuscular training programs for girls in sports.

Read about the report on NBC News.