Why Women should take extra care of their ACL
While we have discussed how to avoid ACL tears in the past, we have not covered ACL tears as they relate to women specifically. The sad truth is that women are more susceptible to ACL tears, at least in regards to statistics. Why this seems to be the case could have to do with a number of physiological differences between men and women.
First, as you probably know, women and men differ anatomically. Obvious differences, such as pelvis size, could play a part in women’s increased risk for ACL injury, in addition to less obvious differences, such as smaller size of the ACL in females.
Furthermore, slight differences in the biomechanics of the female knee joint could also affect the risk for ACL tearing. In other words, the ligaments, muscles and tendons that stabilize the knee when performing various motions in sport differ between male and female athletes. These variations could account for the higher likelihood of ACL tearing in women.
Lastly, the ACL hormone receptors could affect its ability to function at its best. Seeing as men and women produce different amounts of certain hormones, the varying concentrations could also lead to ACL injury.
No matter the reason, statistically women have a higher risk to tear their ACLs. Therefore, female athletes should take the necessary preventative steps toward preventing this injury, including specific training methods to condition the knees and legs’ biomechanics toward added support during stressful motions (pivoting, jumping, etc.)