Why are Girls at a Greater Risk for ACL Injuries?
- Posted on: Nov 30 2014
The anterior cruciate ligament, or ACL runs diagonally across the knee to connect the thigh and shin bones. A torn ACL is the most common knee injury sustained by athletes, but many studies suggest that young female athletes are at a higher risk for ACL injuries than boys.
Why are ACL Injuries More Prevalent in Girls?
- The exact reason why girls are more prone to ACL injuries than boy is unknown.
- Some theories suspect that puberty and menstrual cycles affect the ACL.
- Research has found that the ACL is weakened during the peak of the menstrual cycle.
- During the onset of puberty, girls and boys experience a growth spurt, however, girls do not gain muscle mass at the same rate boys do.
- Girls use their muscles differently than boys do when slowing down, jumping, or suddenly changing directions while playing sports.
What Can Girls do to Prevent ACL Injuries?
- Because girls use their muscles differently, exercises to strengthen muscles that support the knee are critical in preventing an ACL injury.
- The focus of strengthening exercises should be the core and hamstring muscles.
- Yoga is an excellent form of low-impact exercise that can strengthen the core and leg muscles.
- Coaches of girls sports should run balance and coordination drills with their young athletes.
- Most ACL injuries are not the result of player-on-player contact, but rather from sudden movements. Teach female athletes to be aware of their own bodies and control their movements.
How Can a Torn ACL be Repaired?
- In most cases, surgery is required to restore young athletes to optimal performance.
- ACL reconstruction is often performed through a minimally invasive surgical technique called arthroscopy.
- Following surgery, patients are instructed to go to physical therapy to rebuild strength and full range of motion in the joint.
Do you Need to Repair Your Anterior Cruciate Ligament? Contact Dr. Desio in Worcester.
If you have injured your ACL and need treatment, contact Dr. Desio today. Our offices are located in Worcester, Massachusetts, and we proud serve all surrounding areas. Schedule your appointment today at 508.363.6363. We hope to hear from you soon.
Posted in: ACL