ACL Tears In Female Athletes Research Paper

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Biology 100 – Section 005
November 4, 2013

ACL Tears in Female Athletes
ACL TEARS IN FEMALE ATHLETES

The Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) found in the knee connects the femur (thigh bone) to the tibia (shin) and provides stability to the knee. The ACL prevents the tibia from shifting too far forward and from rotating too far inward under the femur. The recent increase of this injury has parents, athletes, doctors, and coaches in fear. Athletes and parents fear the injury to due the expensive surgery, and the difficult physical emotional and mental recovery. The classic tearing of the Anterior Cruciate Ligament has no contact involved and occurs when an athlete is stopping suddenly, cutting, twisting, and jumping. The athlete
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However, as discussed before women have less muscle strength. Other than muscular or other anatomical differences, Women also have different mechanically than men. Women tend to make athletic maneuvers with more of a straight leg. The mechanics that women use during cutting, twisting, pivoting, and stopping contribute to the higher risk of injury. Women perform these maneuvers in an erect manner. As women make these sharp turns or cuts they tend to have their backs in a more upright position and they do not bend their legs as much as men. Thus, leading to less stability on the knee and a greater chance of tearing a ligament. Men normally have developed stronger muscles and better coordination when competing at high level sports and they move in a more athletic way than women. Men bend their knees and lower their center of gravity to increase balance. This is accomplished by bending the knees more and using the hamstring muscles to absorb more of the force applied when jumping, cutting, and twisting taking more pressure of their knee thus decreasing their risk of an ACL injury. Another major reason any athlete tears their ACL is because of flat-footed landing. This occurs when an athlete jumps, or cuts and instead of landing on the balls of their feet they land flat-footed. Landing on the balls of their feet with a bent knee lets the …show more content…
There are ways to lower the risk of the injury and this should be a necessary step to all athletes especially females. There are 3 ways to help prevent the injury and lessen the risk of it actually occurring. Hormonal prevention, Anthropometric prevention, neuromuscular and proprioceptive training programs are ways to help lower the risk of injury. Hormonal prevention in females can decrease the risk of an ACL tear by taking birth control or other contraceptives that balance hormones. Female hormones of estrogen, relaxin, and progesterone have all been known to affect the knee ligaments. Women taking oral contraceptives have had a much lower number of ACL injuries than those who were not but putting women on oral contraceptives is not a definite way to prevent these injuries. Putting a young female athlete on hormones to control estrogen, relaxin, and progesterone strictly for injury prevention is not a great idea because of the other side effects that may occur. Anthropometric measurement prevention is a way to prevent knee injuries like ACL tears in women only after the injury has already occurred. When reconstructing the ACL some surgeons perform a notchplasty that increases the width of the femoral notch in women. This is the notch on the femur where the ACL slides through. Making the hole bigger lessens the risk of a re-tear. This procedure is very costly and quite invasive. The last way of prevention

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