Why Ladies Should Be More Wary Of ACL Injuries Than Their Male Counterparts

As a lady who engages in physical sports and activities, you need to take precautions to prevent anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries. ACL injuries, which include tearing and overstretching, are more common in females than males. The ACL is a knee ligament that aids in maintaining the knee joint's range of motion. Here are some of the possible reasons these injuries are more common in females than males:

Anatomical Differences

The basic anatomy of the female knee may be partly to blame for the high number of ACL injuries in ladies. It seems that the femoral notch (the groove housing the ACL) is narrower in females than males, which restricts the movement of the ligament. As a result, the ACL easily gets pinched or twisted when attempting movements that a wider ACL groove would handle comfortably. Add this to the wider pelvic bone in women, which makes their thigh bones angular (and, therefore, placing more pressure on the knees) and you get a perfect recipe for ACL tears.

Female Hormones

There seems to be a relationship between female hormones and ACL weakness. There are different theories for this. For example, it seems that the pubertal growth spurts in girls aren't accompanied by corresponding muscular strengths (as is the case with boys), leaving the females a bit weak in this part of the body. Another theory is that the estrogen or progesterone hormones impact the strength of the ACL.

Landing Techniques During Jumps

The way ladies tend to jump and land, for example during athletics, is also fundamentally different from the way boys do it. It seems the women don't have as much control of their knee joints as the men have. For example, men tend to favor their hamstrings (tendons or muscles at the back of the thigh) when landing while women use their quadriceps (muscles at the front of the thigh that extend to the top of the knee) first. Placing too much weight on the quadriceps may contract them to the point where they pull the tibia forward and severely strain the ACL. The good news is that this is something you can be trained to avoid.

As you can see, some of the reasons are things you cannot change while others are under your control. For example, you cannot alter your anatomical setup, but you can change the way you jump and land. With proper training, you can minimize ACL injuries. Strengthening your muscles, especially those of the thighs and knees, may also help. Don't forget to seek medical attention whenever you feel something isn't right with your knees, such as from genesys hospital physical therapy.