Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries are a major problem seen in many sports. It has been estimated in USA there is approximately 175, 00 primary ACL reconstruction surgeries performed annually, with the cost being estimated to be over US $2 billion1. After having a complete ACL rupture, many other knee problems such as chronic knee instability can occur. ACL injuries continue to remain the largest single problem in orthopaedic sports medicine, especially in young female athletes aged 14-19 years, producing the need to improve prevention and management2.
Non-contact ACL injuries are the most prevalent in sports. Most non-contact ACL injuries occur when the person is generating more force or moments at the knee that is causing excessive loading of the ACL. Excessive loading can result due to a sudden deceleration, landing and pivoting manoeuvres being performed over and over1. R Dick has reported that female athletes who perform the task that increase the risk are at a higher risk of ACL injuries than males. His study showed that females are two to eight times more likely to have a non-contact ACL injury3. This could be due to females having a smaller knee flexion angle during sporting activates. Studies have shown that after the age of 13 years females knee flexion angle decrease during a stop-jump task. These results show that females older than 13 years have an increased change of sustaining a non-contact ACL injury3.
Current literature has shown that the sagittal plane biomechanics factors such as greater posterior ground reaction force, small knee flexion angle and greater quadriceps muscle force play a major role in ACL loading. G Li study showed that ACL loading increase as the knee flexion angle de...
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...er that when possible females should take care of their ACL’s.
The data collected from this study has help identify if there is a difference in genders when it comes to ACL injuries. The finds showed that females are more proven to an ACL injury when compared to men. This has been backed up by analysing data from the force plates and using the LESS scoring system.
As a results of the many non-contact ACL injury studies that have been done, many practical applications can be applied. The main practical application that has come out of these studies is the ability to be able prevent non-contact ACL injuries.
To future look into ACL injuries in males and females, there needs to be studies done to look at gender difference in sport. There studies should involve a variety of sporting action, not just jumping, and assess the impact on the ACL ligament.
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