ACL Injuries in Female Athletes

The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL)
ACL Injuries in Female Athletes

ACL Injuries in Female Athletes

Over the last decade, torn and ruptured anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in female athletes have increased at an alarming rate.

Consistently, it has been found that a higher prevalence of ACL injuries occurs in female athletes over their male counterparts. Women are 2.4 to 9.7 times more likely to suffer from ACL injury when compared to men of similar competition and training levels.

Females involved in sports involving landing from a jump, abrupt changing of directions and cutting, such as basketball, soccer, gymnastics, skiing and gymnastics are especially at risk. Reports state that women basketball players are 5 to 7 times more likely to have an ACL injuries than men and that female soccer players are injured more than twice as often as men (American Council on Exercise, 2009). On average, women rupture their ACL ligaments 5 years earlier than men do. In addition, majority of females with torn ACLs are between the ages of 15 and 25.

Although the exact cause is still unclear, and the possibility of a complex interplay between different factors is likely, possible explanations of the gender difference in the rate of ACL injuries have been suggest and reviewed. The suggested reasons are anatomic differences, joint laxity, range of motion, hormonal secretion and training techniques are suggested factors that predispose women to ACL injuries.

There are two different factors that can influence an injury. The first is intrinsic factors. Intrinsic factors are internal factors with the body that can increase the risk of injury.