Anthony Luke M.D., M.P.H.
Primary Care Sports Medicine Specialist
UCSF Sports Medicine Center
The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is one of the most commonly injured ligaments of the knee, with women more prone to ACL tears than men.
As early as the 1990s, higher rates of injuries to the ACL in women vs. men have been observed (6:1 in basketball and 2:1 in soccer).i Researchers have speculated that the greater risk to women is due to various factors, including hormonal causes, anatomical variations between men and women and differences in neuromuscular control. The most promising explanation is a female athlete's ability to balance (proprioception) and control her knee with her muscles (neuromuscular control). Because of anatomical and muscle strength differences between average men and women, females have less stability and upper body control, which can lead to an awkward fall and subsequent ACL injury.
Research has shown that proprioception and neuromuscular training are effective in reducing the risk of ACL injury in women. The following are recommended exercises for ACL injury prevention:
Referring patients to a health professional familiar with similar proprioception programs may be the best measure to help athletes reduce their chances of an ACL tear.
For more information, contact the Physician Referral Service at UCSF Medical Center:
|Phone||(888) 689-UCSF or (888) 689-8273|
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