ACL tears: Why women are at risk?

Women are at higher risk for ending up with ACL tears while engaging in competitive sports. The risk for ACL tears among women is relatively higher than men. There are variations in the risk which depends on the population including the sport.

Based on the latest studies, it pointed out the differences in the biomechanics among male and female athletes. It is good to note that there are measures that can reduce the risk for developing ACL tears.

Possible theories on the difference of ACL tears in men and women

Various studies have been conducted to investigate ACL tears among women and it was revealed that sports place significant demand on the ACL such as soccer, basketball and even cheerleading.

Men and women are built differently including their skeletons and body types. The exact reason why the rate of ACL tears is different has been an issue for debate. Some of the possible theories include the following:

ACL tears

Men and women are built differently including their skeletons and body types.

Anatomical differences

There are various anatomical differences between men and women including the ACL size, pelvis width, Q-angle and intercondylar notch size.

Biomechanical differences

Knee stability is dependent on various factors. The two most vital are the static and dynamic stabilizers of the knee joint. The static stabilizers are the main knee ligaments including the ACL. As for the dynamic stabilizers, it includes the muscles and tendons surrounding the joint. Women usually have differences in the biomechanical movements of the knee during jumping, pivoting and landing.

Hormonal differences

The ACL has hormone receptors for progesterone and estrogen and it is believed that hormone concentration might play a role in ACL injuries. Based on studies, scientists agree that the menstrual cycle has minimal effect if any at all on the risk for ACL tears.

Prevention of ACL tears

The body mechanics can be improved with training plans. These training regimens guide the body to move in a safer and stable manner that places minimal strain on the joints. These programs are popularly known as neuromuscular training programs.

These programs can reduce the risk for ACL injury among female athletes. The prevention of ACL tears has been effective with the help of these neuromuscular training regimens. These methods help the muscles gain improved control of the joint stability. Based on the studies conducted, those who undergo the training have lowered risk for ACL tears.


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