Why ACL injuries are more common in females

Why ACL injuries are more common in females

2 to 10 times the risk of ACL injury for females

Female athletes are known to have a higher risk of  anterior cruciate ligament, or ACL , injuries. Risk of ACL injuries in female athletes has been found to be 2 to 10 times higher than in males.

Three main reasons 


The reason for the greater chance of ACL injury in women, is primarily the shape of a woman’s hips being not exactly above her knees, according to Dr. Bill Hennessey. Other experts include size variations between men and woman and their different parts, i.e.: pelvis width, Q-angle, size of ACL, size of intercondylar notch (the point at which the ACL crosses the knee joint).


In addition to anatomic differences, hormonal differences have been noted as well.  The ACL has hormone receptors for estrogen and progesterone and some believe that the hormone concentration could be a factor in ACL injuries. The hormonal theory used to be popular but is not widely accepted today.

Differences in how females move

Biomechanical differences or the major ligaments of the knee and the muscles and tendons. Women have been observed to have differences in key knee movements such as jumping, landing and pivoting.

The landing position of women tends to be different than of men. Women tend to land with a straight knee position, where men tend to bend their knees.


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