Student Well-Being

Girls’ Knee Injuries Focus of Campaign

By Christina A. Samuels — April 07, 2009 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

Boys and girls play many of the same sports. But when it comes to noncontact injuries of the anterior cruciate ligament—a tough band of tissue that connects the upper and lower leg bones—studies have shown that girls are up to eight times more likely to suffer them than boys are.

The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons and the National Athletic Trainers’ Association have teamed up to educate athletes, coaches, and parents about the prevalence of the injury. Although surgery and rehabilitation can return full function to the knee, people with ACL injuries often suffer from arthritis in the joint later in life.

“Once you reconstruct it, it doesn’t make it normal,” said Dr. Letha Y. Griffin, the spokeswoman for the Rosemont, Ill.-based AAOS and a surgeon at the Peachtree Orthopaedic Clinic in Atlanta. “The injury leaves its toll.”

Researchers are not quite sure why girls and women seem to incur more ACL injuries than boys and men do. The ruptures or tears occur when the tibia, or lower leg bone, slides too far forward past the femur, or thigh bone. Noncontact ACL injuries are most common in sports like basketball and soccer that require quick pivots and stops.

Some doctors hypothesize that female athletes have weaker hamstring muscles, a situation that reduces the stability of the knee joint. Males and females also move differently during athletic activities. Estrogen, the female sex hormone, has also been implicated as a factor leading to weaker ligaments.

Preventing ACL injuries is tricky. But educating school coaches about the risks that female athletes face is key, said Marjorie J. Albohm, the president of the athletic trainers’ group. Exercises that focus on strength and agility can help strengthen the muscles that stabilize the knee joint, she said. Other helpful exercises teach female athletes how to jump and land correctly.

School athletic trainers and coaches can find out more online, through such Web sites as www.aclprevent.org.

“You have to have a thorough conditioning program,” Ms. Albohm said. “And to have people trained in the prevention of injuries helps immensely in implementing these activities.”

A version of this article appeared in the April 08, 2009 edition of Education Week

Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Recruitment & Retention Webinar
Be the Change: Strategies to Make Year-Round Hiring Happen
Learn how to leverage actionable insights to diversify your recruiting efforts and successfully deploy a year-round recruiting plan.
Content provided by Frontline
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Equity & Diversity Webinar
Critical Ways Leaders Can Build a Culture of Belonging and Achievement
Explore innovative practices for using technology to build an environment of belonging and achievement for all staff and students.
Content provided by DreamBox Learning
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Professional Development Webinar
Strategies for Improving Student Outcomes with Teacher-Student Relationships
Explore strategies for strengthening teacher-student relationships and hear how districts are putting these methods into practice to support positive student outcomes.
Content provided by Panorama Education

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Student Well-Being 3 Ways to Avoid Hurdles for Social-Emotional Learning
Clarifying misconceptions, communicating with parents, and supporting teachers are key.
4 min read
Second grader Tiffinie Tillis works with dean of students Andrea Keck while visiting a sensory room at Quincy Elementary School, Wednesday, Nov. 3, 2021, in Topeka, Kan. The rooms are designed to relieve stresses faced by students as they return to classrooms amid the ongoing pandemic.
Second grader Tiffinie Tillis works with dean of students Andrea Keck while visiting a sensory room at Quincy Elementary School, Wednesday, Nov. 3, 2021, in Topeka, Kan. The rooms are designed to relieve stresses faced by students as they return to classrooms amid the ongoing pandemic.
Charlie Riedel/AP
Student Well-Being Tom Brady's TB12 Method Is in Schools. Experts Have Doubts
Physical education experts have raised questions about the approach’s suitability for school-age children.
5 min read
Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady’s new physical education curriculum is catching on in schools. Here, Eighth-grade students, Justine Snyder, bottom, and Macy Peterson use a sphere and foam roller at Pinellas Park Middle School on Friday, Sept. 9, 2022, in Pinellas Park, Fla.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady has a new physical education curriculum that is catching on in schools, including in Pinellas County, Florida. Eighth-grade students, Justine Snyder, bottom, and Macy Peterson, use a sphere and foam roller—part of the Brady fitness regimen—at Pinellas Park Middle School in Pinellas Park, Fla.
Jefferee Woo/Tampa Bay Times via AP
Student Well-Being Opinion 'Do I Belong or Not?' How to Help Students Navigate Social Relationships
What do you say to students who are struggling to feel like they fit in—and what do you avoid?
Geoffrey L. Cohen
2 min read
Images shows a stylized artistic landscape with soothing colors.
Getty
Student Well-Being Goodbye to COVID Vaccine, Testing Mandates. What That Means for Schools
The changes come after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention relaxed its COVID-19 guidance for schools.
3 min read
Doctor putting a band aid on woman's arm.
E+