An ACL tear can be a sidelining injury for months, years, or even a lifetime. Knee injuries, including those to the ACL and MCL, are found most commonly in athletes. College and pro level athletes consider it a constant threat to their livelihoods. Of course, knee injury is far from relegated to the sporting arena. Any sort of twisting, turning, or impact can set it off. Unfortunately for women, studies have proven that females are far more likely to experience serious knee trouble than men.
How Likely Are Knee Injuries For Women?
According to WebMD: “One in 10 female college athletes suffers a major knee injury (usually an ACL tear) every year — five to six times more often than their male counterparts, Hewett says. And while nobody knows how often casual athletes injure their knees, it’s not a rare event, says Hewett, citing a recent study of recreational soccer players that found that women were roughly five times more likely than men to seriously damage their knee ligaments.” As for women outside of the sport arena, various studies have cited an increased chance of injury ranging from 2x to 8x.
Why Are Women More Prone to Knee Injury?
There are a few existing studies that have conclusively proven that female anatomy is one important factor in knee damage. WebMD states: “Why are women so prone to knee trouble? Biology is partly to blame. A woman’s relatively wide hips put extra stress on her joints, and female hormones seem to weaken ligaments”. Throughout natural female cycles different levels of hormones affect the body. It is well known that during pregnancy the joints loosen in order to handle the new stresses of child bearing, as well as the function of child birth. Naturally, pregnant women are at an increased risk, but these hormone factors apply to all women regardless of pregnancy status. A recent study at Oregon State University has put another piece of the puzzle together: “In addition to obvious skeletal and muscular differences between the sexes, the study of 17 male and 17 female college-age recreational athletes found men and women differ in “recurrent inhibition,” or how they transmit the nerve impulses that control muscle force. Men control nerve impulses much like athletes trained for explosive muscle usage, like sprinters. Women control nerve impulses more like athletes trained for endurance, like cross-country runners.” – Wired While their studies are still underway and not yet conclusive, the initial results have proved promising. They may be able to unlock in-depth information regarding body function and the propensity for injury.
Can Anything Be Done?
Body hormones and anatomy are realities of life. There will never be a magic solution to help women avoid knee trauma. However, some researchers like Timothy Hewett have made great strides in developing training regiments that can strengthen the muscles and teach the body to avoid injury-causing behavior. One option to investigate is sportsmetrics, which you can learn more about here.
Legal Rights For Knee Injuries
If you or a loved one has suffered a knee injury at work or during sporting activities and you believe it is due to the negligence of your company or a coach, you may have the right to legal compensation. Reach out to us and describe your situation. We can offer a free consultation service, and if needed, connect you to the proper attorney in your area for such a case.