Sharp Advice: ACL Injuries - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

2/4/07

Sharp Advice: ACL Injuries

In my world of coaching women's basketball, I know the players think in terms of not if but when they'll have an ACL injury.  

We know  the single best thing people can do to prevent an ACL injury is to not gain too much weight. No matter what your size, it can happen to anyone.  Even in the most fit people, there can be an ACL injury.  

Studies show that particular knee injury is up to 8 times more common in women than in men. That's the focus of research at the Texas Tech Health Sciences Center.  Dr. Daniel Hardy is an associate professor of cell biology and biochemistry in the Department of Orthopedic Surgery. He's studying ligaments at the molecular level to find out what makes women more susceptible to an ACL injury than men aside from the fact that after puberty, girls just tend to land differently after a jump.

"Dr. Daniel Hardy says "You put 20 boys in a line and 20 girls in a line and the boys will all jump and land with their legs straight. But 20 to 30 percent of the girls will land with their knees in. It puts a different force on the ligaments when they land like that."  

He says it's still a mystery, though, why an athlete can do the same thing thousands of times and then on one particular day, the ACL ruptures.  

Remember, it's always a good idea to warm up before exercise. Since we know that soccer and basketball are two sports that are particularly hard on the knees.  It's a good idea for parents and coaches to make sure that the girls especially in those sports are focused on landing with knees straight instead of bent in.

Reporting for NewsChannel 11, I'm Marsha Sharp with Sharp Advice from Texas Tech University.

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