Female Athletes Should Be Increased Risk Of A Life Changing Injury

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As the soccer ball was rolling out of bounds, I felt my opponent right on my back. In that moment, I would not have guessed that the next year would drastically change seconds later. My leg gave out as I heard a heart breaking pop and fell to the ground. Over 250,000 Americans tear their Anterior Cruciate Ligaments (ACL) each year, myself included. Female athletes are eight times more susceptible to tear their ACL as a result of physiological and anatomic differences. Building up specific muscles around the knee can diminish the amount of strain on the knee. Therefore, female athletes should participate in strength programs to target reducing the risk of a life changing injury. The ACL is the most commonly injured of the four ligaments found in the knee that provide stability and movement for the knee. The knee contains support from all sides with the four main ligament, Medial Collateral Ligament (MCL), Posterior Cruciate Ligament (PCL), Lateral Collateral Ligament (LCL), and Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL). The MCL and LCL are Collateral ligaments located on the outsides of your knee to prevent the side to side motion of the knee, while the ACL and PCL are Cruciate ligaments that cross in the middle of the knee to stabilize the knee while moving back and forth. The ACL connects the Femur to the Tibia and is commonly injured due to pivoting or sudden change in direction with a locked knee (“Torn Anterior Cruciate Ligament”). Most injuries to the ACL are when the athlete is decelerating when the knee is locked and the femur jolts forward over the tibia causing enough stress to rupture the ACL. Another common way to tear or strain the ACL is landing from a jump in an awkward position, usually with a pivoted foot. It is a very rar... ... middle of paper ... ...grinding through physical therapy for 6 months, it consists of tons of exercises to help regain all the strength back into and around the knee. The first few weeks of physical therapy consist of attending at least three times a week. As the patient gets stronger the start going once a week and doing their exercises on their own every other day. Physical therapy is extremely self reliant. The more the patient does the physical therapy, the stronger they get and can get back to their sport faster. Doctors and physical therapists have found that there are various exercises athletes, especially females can do to reduce the risk of an ACL tear. Some exercises include, squats, jump squats, lateral bounds, step ups, hamstring curls, and romanian deadlifts. All of the exercises used to reduce the risks of tears by targeting strengthening the hips, hamstrings, and quadriceps.

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