Nomogram Predicitive of Which Female Athletes Are High-Risk for ACL Tears

Data presented by Dr. Kevin R. Ford, PhD, now suggests that a comprehensive analysis of female biomechanics during puberty can predict the likelihood of a future ACL tear. Dr. Ford and his team analyzed more than 1500 females and discovered a few key things. Girls have significantly more valgus movement when they land from a jump than boys do. This means that their knees come together more when they land instead of staying straight over the feet. By measuring knee valgus movements, knee flexion range of motion, body mass, tibia length, and quadriceps to hamstring ratio, we can predict ACL tear risk with a 73% sensitivity.  Dr. Ford states, “Before puberty, the incidence of ACL tears is equal in boys and girls. However, beginning at age 12, ACL tears become 10 times more common in women than in men. Women are less likely to undergo a neuromuscular spurt at the same time as they grow in height. As a result, women have increased height without increased strength. This results in biomechanical stresses that may lead to ACL tears. Neuromuscular training programs can lower the risk of ACL injury.”

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