Girls and Knee Injuries

As the spring finally arrives, many of your girls will be returning to the field to participate in soccer programs.

If your daughter is like mine and is going through puberty, or about 12 or more, they are at a much greater risk of injuring their ACL ( anterior cruciate ligament) of the knee than boys of a similar age in a similar sport. The reasons for this are not yet clear but may relate to hormone changes, physical growth changes, body mass , most research is now focussed on differences between boys and girls and the neurological control they have of their bodies.

The ACL is a primary stabilizer of the knee, its main function is to prevent excess forward motion of the tibia or your lower leg and if damaged increases instability of the knee joint and seriously limits activity and may require surgical repair and long periods of rehabilitation.

Most commonly these injuries occur during soccer and basketball, the motions most likely to cause the injury are landing from a jump and cutting or changing direction quickly.

What can be done to help prevent this injury in our girls?

Warm up and training exercises that focus on strengthening muscles of the thighs and lower legs, exercises called plyometrics that focus on jumping and landing from jumps.

Girls using these exercises in training can significantly reduce their risk of suffering these injuries.

Teachers, coaches and parents can learn more about how to prevent these injuries by completing a program on line called KIPP, here