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Women have more anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries than men: women athletes injure their ACLs up to 8 times as often as men athletes.1 Experts have identified three areas where differences between men and women may affect the risk of ACL injuries.
Some studies suggest that the differences in ligament laxity may be due to changing hormone levels. These studies have shown that there is change in ligament laxity during the menstrual cycle and that women are at greater risk for an ACL injury during the ovulatory phase of their cycle than at other times. Other studies have not found a relationship between the menstrual cycle and laxity in the ACL.2 How hormones affect the ACL is not known.
Training and rehabilitation programs for women may take the above factors into account. A program may include exercises to:
- Seroyer S, West R (2007). Anterior cruciate ligament section of Injuries specific to the female athlete. In PJ McMahon, ed., Current Diagnosis and Treatment in Sports Medicine, pp. 259–260. New York: McGraw-Hill.
- Honkamp NJ, et al. (2010). Anterior cruciate ligament injuries in adults. In JC DeLee et al., eds., Delee and Drez's Orthopaedic Sports Medicine: Principles and Practice, 3rd ed., vol. 2, pp. 1644–1676. Philadelphia: Saunders Elsevier.
|Primary Medical Reviewer||William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine|
|Specialist Medical Reviewer||Freddie H. Fu, MD - Orthopedic Surgery|
|Last Revised||April 5, 2012|
Last Revised: April 5, 2012
Author: Healthwise Staff
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