The non-dominant legs of female skiers are more vulnerable to ACL injuries

April 9, 2012

Topic: Knee doctors

The non-dominant legs of female skiers are vulnerable to ACL injuries.

A team of scientists discovered that female skiers are more likely to injure the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) of the leg that they do not prefer to use when kicking off on the slopes, as published in The American Journal of Sports Medicine. These findings may have implications for individuals who need to consult knee doctors for skiing-related mishaps.

Women are between two and nine times more likely than men to tear the ACL, according to Charles A. Roth, M.D., orthopaedic surgeon at the Andrews Institute. This may be because of the alignment of their knees, differences in muscle strength and the effects of menstrual hormones.

For the new study, the researchers reviewed the medical records of 65 male and 128 female patients who had non-contact-related ACL injuries. The gathered information included which leg an individual preferred to use for kicking, the site of the injury and gender.

About 90 percent of men and women said that their right leg was the dominant one. Data analysis showed that female skiers were about two times more likely to sustain ACL ruptures in their non-dominant leg, suggesting that leg preference is a risk factor that may be unique to women when it comes to ACL injuries.

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