• WEATHER ALERT Winter Weather Advisory

Women more prone to ACL injuries

July 19, 2011 6:57:34 AM PDT
Girls are more prone to ACL injuries than boys.

Despite the near miss of a U.S. victory, the women of the World Cup have inspired young female athletes around the country, but there is one consequence that affects girls more than the boys, ACL injuries of the knee.

"It's the most important ligament because it gives you stability," said Dr. Ron Noy.

Dr. Noy is an orthopedic surgeon and sports medicine specialist at Beth Israel Medical Center. He tore his own ACL, or Anterior Cruciate Ligament while playing basketball.

When the ligaments are smaller which they are in women verses boys the notch grows around it it's going to be narrower.

He says, "When the ligaments are smaller which they are in women verses boys, the notch grows around it - it's going to be narrower."

Other theories for why girls are more at risk is they have less muscular strength in the quadriceps and core, and perhaps hormonal reasons.

Some say the ligament is more lax during menstruation but that has not been proven.

The best solution is prevention and there are specific techniques for landing and pivoting that can help prevent an ACL injury.

Physical Therapist Jennifer Monreal has three techniques that she demonstrated for Eyewitness News with Anami Chan. Anami is a competitive figure skater who tore her ACL while skiing, but she has since recovered after surgery.

The wrong way to land is in knock kneed position. That raises the risk of an ACL tear.

"Pay attention to your toes, make sure your knees are straight but slightly out and that your body is on top of your pelvis," said Jennifer.

Next pivoting, do not start in a knock kneed position.

"A lot of women tend to get into that position and then you pivot on that and just doing this demonstration I can feel a nasty pull on my knee," adds Monreal.

She then goes on to explain the correct way is "You're gonna walk fast and turn that's perfect . She turned her foot. Used her core, instead of putting all the strain on her knee."

And finally, Jennifer says any exercise that strengthens the core and the quadriceps muscles will stabilize the knee, especially the inner quads.

Load Comments