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Format: 04/16/2014
Format: 04/16/2014


Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Girls' jump training aims to reduce risk of injury

Wednesday, March 24th, 2010

By Jack Kelly, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
A simple test can determine whether young female athletes are at risk for a painful knee injury, researchers at Allegheny General Hospital have found.

Girls are statistically much more likely than boys to experience a tear of the anterior cruciate ligament, which attaches to the femur in the upper leg and the tibia in the lower leg to stabilize the knee.

About 85 percent of ACL tears are non-contact injuries. They occur primarily during sudden stopping, starting or pivoting motions.

Research indicates girls are about nine times more likely to have ACL tears than boys who play the same sports. This is in part, researchers believe, because girls are less likely than boys to bend their knees when running and jumping. Anatomical and hormonal differences and core muscle strength also play a role.

"Our knees are a little more straight than little boys' knees are," said Dr. Moira Davenport, a sports medicine physician at Allegheny General. "The muscles in the quadriceps [large muscle in the front of the thigh] fire slightly slower, and this puts greater forces on the knee."

Allegheny General's Human Motion Training Academy completed this month an initial clinical research study of female basketball players at two local high schools to see whether certain specific exercises can reduce the risk of ACL tears.


To read more, visit the Post-Gazette website.  

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