Female basketball players are no joke. Neither are anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tears.
Ask anyone who has experienced an ACL tear and the story always sounds about the same: a sudden turn, twist or fall with a pop, excruciating pain and the immediate knowledge that their season of play is over.
Well documented need-to-know facts about ACL tears are:
- Female athletes are 4-5 times more likely to injure their ACLs than their male counterparts.
- 70% of all ACL injuries happen through pivoting, cutting, sidestepping, out of control play or awkward landings.
- ACL tears cost approximately $2 billion annually.
Research has shown there are physiological differences between women and men that lend women athletes to ACL tear more so than men:
- The intercondylar notch, the groove in the femur through which the ACL passes, is naturally smaller in women than in men. Accordingly, the ACL itself is smaller in women, which makes it more prone to injury.
- Women have a wider pelvis and more commonly have “knock-knee” alignment, meaning that their knees bend inward when they land from jumps.
- On average, women have hyper extension in their joints more than men.