November 9, 2017
Dr. Jeffrey Bean was recently interviewed by health blogger, Diane Atwood of Catching Health, to share a little more information about why females are at greater risk for knee-related injuries and how to prevent them. See what he had to say:
“With increased female participation in sports over the years, there has also been an exponential rise in knee injuries in the female athlete, with the ACL being the most common and most severe. Female athletes are more likely than their male counterparts to sustain a knee injury. Many published studies show knee ligament injury rates 5-6x higher in female athletes, some studies showing rates up to 10x higher.
There has been a plethora of research on why females are at increased risk. Some factors can’t be altered, such as female hormones, the inherent differences of female anatomy and increased incidence of generalized ligament laxity in females.
We, therefore, focus on factors that can be modified. Females tend to have more muscle imbalances, with a higher quadriceps to hamstring strength ratio. Men tend to be more balanced and use hamstring to slow down from a sprint, providing increased stability to the knee. Females also tend to jump and land differently than men, having less neurogenic control, which is the ability to have nerves and muscles work together appropriately. They tend to have knee land straight and then buckle inwards, with more weight places through one leg. This all increases the instability in the knee.
Therefore, prevention is key to lessen the risk of ACL and other knee injuries. Having schools institute an ACL prevention program can help to decrease ACL injuries. OA Centers for Orthopaedics has an ACL program through all of our physical therapy offices – helping to recognize imbalances and then providing a program to help improve neuromuscular control and lessen risk.”