Why girls are at more risk for ACL injury compared to boys?
Girls are five to eight times more likely than boys to tear their ACLs for
several possible reasons:
- Girls tend to use their ligaments more than their muscles when playing
- At puberty, boys grow in height and develop their lower leg muscles at the
same time. When girls grow, they don’t tend to develop leg strength unless they
train for it
3) Girls tend to land in a more straight-legged way than boys, thus reducing
the effectiveness of their thigh muscles as shock absorbers.
4) Girls knees tend to bend inward during jumping, which distributes their
weight more unevenly than boys.
5) Girls have wider hips (in relation to their knees), which puts more stress
on the ACL.
6) Boys tend to use their hamstrings when jumping, while girls tend to use their quads, which put more stress on the ACL.
7) The female knee has a narrow notch compared to a male knee, which puts the ACL at higher risk for injury.
How can young athletes reduce the risk of ACL tear?
- Maintaining general health & fitness: sport-specific conditioning, diet, exercise, and sleep.
- Using proper sport-specific movements and techniques.
- Wearing proper sport-specific gear learning which moves cause risks
- Hamstring strengthening (especially for girls).
- Neuromuscular training (learning how to land properly from jumps)
particularly in females.