Subject: Female ACL injuries and prevention
Thesis Statement: Female athletes should know that they have a higher risk of tearing their Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL).
Number of Words: 1,573
Concept and Definition
As soon as I was told I had to write an investigative report I knew exactly what my topic was going to be. A year ago I tore my ACL playing soccer. I went through reconstructive surgery followed by six months of physical therapy. About three months after I was released from therapy, I re-tore it while playing in a game. Recently, I have become increasingly aware that the incidence of females who tear their ACL is much higher than that of men. Then I became more curious to why females are more prone to tearing their ACL. For that reason, my report will expand on differences in anatomical structure, neurological processes, physiological mechanisms and hormonal fluctuation in females, and will further detail prevention methods currently being tested to decrease the occurrence of ACL ruptures in women. What exactly is an Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL)? The ACL is a ligament that connects the tibia to the femur. It is one of the most important ligaments in the knee. Ligaments are strong, dense, structures made of connective tissue that stabilize a joint. It serves to prevent the tibia (leg) from moving forward relative to the femur (thigh). The ACL is in the center of the knee. It crosses the PCL (a different ligament in the knee), hence the name, cruciate. The adjective cruciate is from the Latin crux, crucis, meaning "cross". Injuries to the ACL can occur in a number of situations, including sports. The causes of ACL injury have recently been the focus of research. It is the most common knee ligament injury, especially in athletes. Lateral rotational movements in sports like soccer, basketball, and football are what cause the ACL to strain or tear. It is usually injured in a forceful twisting motion of the knee. It also may be injured by hyper extending the knee which is when the femur is forcefully pushed across the tibia such as a sudden stop while running or a sudden change in weight. Other factors contributing to ACL injuries include ground hardness, grass type and cleat type. But one of the other major findings is that women are nearly three times more likely to have ACL injuries than men. And some statistics says that a female soccer player is eight times more likely to injuring her ACL than a male soccer player. The person will feel or hear a sudden pop in the knee. The knee may or may not get very swollen, but the knee will be very unstable so you can not walk and it is painful especially when it is moved after the accident. Over the past decade sports physicians, orthopedic surgeons, trainers, and female athletes have recognized that deceleration non-contact injuries have produced ACL injuries at a disturbing rate in high school and college female athletes. Studies show that women are 2 to 8 times as likely as men to have an ACL injury. In 1995, an article was published in the American Journal of Sports Medicine that found that female basketball players in the NCAA tore their ACL four times more often than male basketball players. In the same study, women who played NCAA soccer sustained ACL injuries twice as often as male soccer players. It is pretty clear that female athletes have a higher risk of tearing their ACL’s rather then men. There are many factors that lead up to why female athletes are more prone to ACL injuries. These include: Hormones, pelvis size, ligament laxity, and quadriceps/hamstring strenth ratio. Therefor, female athletes should know that they have a higher risk of tearing their Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL).
Significance and feasibility
How do hormonal differences predispose athletes to injury? It is well known that female hormones effect the composition and structure of a variety of tissues. Females experience...