Why are so many women injuring their knees playing professional World Cup soccer?

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Anterior cruciate tears are more common in women going through puberty than in males the same age.  Recently, the NY Times reported that there is an epidemic of these injuries in professional soccer players in their 20s.

Understanding how the knee works is in the eye of the beholder.

The ankle must move to absorb shock at the hip.  When this does not happen, it will affect the knee, which is a joint that is combined with the pully mechanism in the kneecap. They there is asymmetry, core issues, or foot issues, this will distort the core causing more tightening in the lower leg.   Often, the athlete is unaware until they plant their foot which is wearing a Clete designed for traction, and then pivot and twist.   The pop they hear is the cruciate ligament tearing.   The cruciate ligaments are important for stabilizing the knee internally. Without these important ligaments, more injuries and instability can and will occur from sports. Do you look at the knee professionally?   As a healthcare provider who has diagnosed many of these, I hope not.  To understand the knee injury, you must understand the patient, and their body style and look at all the joints in the kinetic chains which consist of the knee, hip, and ankle/foot. You must also look at the pelvis and understand the core as well.

Why do women have knee injuries more frequently?

As certified chiropractic sports physicians, we recognize women are all built differently.  Some are taller, others have wider hips and some have asymmetrical body styles which increase the risk.   Men, on the other hand, have narrower hips which place less stress on the knee although asymmetry can also result in tightness and injuries to the cruciate ligaments. The NY Times recently investigated the phenomenon.   While their findings may be a little different, in the world of sports chiropractic, you should always evaluate the patient holistically, take a thorough history and see what is unique about the patient before offering a diagnosis.  This is because a torn anterior cruciate ligament can happen again if you don't understand why an injury occurred. Read  the article below

The Curse Stalking Women’s Soccer

The World Cup is missing some of the sport’s biggest stars because of a knee injury epidemic. No one can say for sure why it’s happening, or how to fix it.

By Rory Smith Published July 19, 2023 The third time around, Megan Rapinoe’s reaction to a potentially career-ending knee injury went no further than an eye roll. She had torn her anterior cruciate ligament. She could reel off the recovery schedule from the top of her head. She could see, crystal clear, the next nine to 12 months spooling out in front of her. The surgery, the painstaking rehab, the grueling weeks in the gym, the anxious first steps on the turf, the slow journey back to what she had once been. As she considered it in 2015, she felt something closer to exasperation than to despair. “I was like, ‘I don’t have time for this,’” she said. The first time had been different. She had torn the anterior cruciate ligament in her left knee at age 21, when she was a breakout star in her sophomore year at the University of Portland. At that time, she felt what she called “the fear” — the worry that it might all be over before it had begun. Read more If you are having knee problems and would like a professional opinion, book online here.