An athlete lands down with a sudden pain on the knee followed by a ‘pop’ sound and swelling. This is familiar story in every sports scenario. This is called an ACL or Anterior Cruciate Ligament injury where a sudden ligament tear in knee by intense twisting, stopping or jumping. It is the frequent complaint among sports persons.
An estimation of 1 among 3,000 people is ACL injured every year and are categorized as two types – contact and non-contact ACL injuries. Contact ACL injuries occur when one person collides other person and non-contact ACL injury happens when an athlete plants his foots suddenly on ground and feels ‘pop’ sound. An approximate of 70% ACL injuries are non-contact. It is lesser known fact that women are 2 to 10 times high at risk to ACL injuries than men. Why is so and the reasons behind were researched by the scientists from the last two decades. Five out of eleven studies proved that the association between hormonal cycle and anterior knee laxity; (or) the laxity increases when a woman is in the ovulation period leads to knee ligament tear. And the research adds that the estrogen levels have the negative effects on ligament strength. And also the increased width of pelvic which causes stress results in ACL injuries. To go deep into the factors which cause women at high risk than men, here is a list.
Anatomy: The bottom of the femur (thighbone) is larger in men than women. To make it more comprehensible, women have wider hips than men by nature which effects the displacement of the knee due to weight. Especially during heavy added force such as jumping or turning, women are left with broken joints.
Biomechanics: Female bodies are more flexible than men and more tuned in. As the bodies differ in moving and reacting, women hip’s, buttocks and lower part is not as tough as men. Hence putting an extra force on the force leads to strain in surrounding muscles and ligaments.
Hormones: There is a proved experiment by scientists of ACL and menstrual cycle. Women athletes are more inclined to ACL injuries during the first part of cycle, i.e before ovulation.
Can they be prevented?
- Neuromuscular training is a six-week training program designed especially for women to toughen knee joints. Besides these, young athletes are trained in performing right exercises that can prevent ACL tears.
- Maintain strength across the body: Do not strain your muscles by pushing their physical limits. Experts suggests to concentrate in maintaining equal workouts across the body.
- The best instruction for men and women alike is to work out on the knee muscles, especially the quadriceps, hamstring, hip adductor, and gluteus muscles.
An average percentage of ACL injuries heal on its own. But a critical condition needs an expert’s attention. Such attention can only be given by pros. Dr. Chirag Patel, who is widely respected among the doctors, with an experience of 18 years and one of the best orthopaedic specialists in Surat. He says that there are gender-specific implants available to fit in women’s unique anatomy with thinner, natural movement and a contoured shape. So ladies, this is a good news for you. If you are in and around and need an ACL Reconstruction in Surat, drop-in at Dr. Chirag for more understanding and treatment for ACL injuries.