Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Women have more knee ligament injuries than men due to geometry, not gender

Date:
February 6, 2012
Source:
American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
Summary:
Much orthopedic research has been devoted to determining why women are far more susceptible to knee ligament injuries than men. According to a new study, the answer may lie in geometry -- the length and shape of a patient's knee bone -- more than gender.

Much orthopaedic research has been devoted to determining why women are far more susceptible to knee ligament injuries than men. According to a new study, the answer may lie in geometry -- the length and shape of a patient's knee bone -- more than gender.

Related Articles


Research recently published in the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery (JBJS), compared magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans of male and female athletes with non-contact anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries with those of athletes who participated in similar, at-risk sports but without a history of ligament injury.

The ACL is a ligament that runs through, and stabilizes, the middle of the knee joint. While the ACL can be injured through contact, it is most commonly strained or torn without contact, when a person suddenly changes direction, stops abruptly or lands incorrectly after a jump, such as in soccer, basketball and skiing.

The study found that most of the women (those who had ACL injuries and those who did not) and only the ACL-injured men shared a common geometry on the outside of their knee joint: The upper part of their shin bone at the joint (tibial plateau) was much shorter and more rounded. This may help to explain why women have an ACL injury rate that is two-to-five times greater than that of men.

"A lot of people who have ACL tears have a high degree of laxity (loose ligaments) in their knee joints," said Christopher J. Wahl, MD, the study's lead author and an orthopaedic surgeon and team physician in the Department of Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine at the University of Washington, Seattle.

"When I started looking closely at the MRI images of the 'lax' individuals, the tibial plateau seemed very rounded and very short compared to those patients with stable knees," said Dr. Wahl. "The outside of the knee joint almost doesn't make sense -- it is a round surface resting on a round surface -- like a ball on a ball. This would seem to be inherently unstable.

"We were surprised to find that statistically, most of the women in the study share that geometry, even if they hadn't been injured. However, only some men have this geometry, and they were the ones who got ACL tears," said Dr. Wahl. "Put a different way, instead of asking why all females are more prone to ACL injuries, we might consider why only some men are. The male geometry is more variable than the female's in this respect."

The findings also may explain why women have a higher rate of ACL injuries, and yet the rate of re-injury is the same among men and women.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Christopher J. Wahl. An Association of Lateral Knee Sagittal Anatomic Factors with Non-Contact ACL Injury: Sex or Geometry? The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery (American), 2012; 94 (3): 217 DOI: 10.2106/JBJS.K.00099

Cite This Page:

American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. "Women have more knee ligament injuries than men due to geometry, not gender." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 6 February 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/02/120206122626.htm>.
American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. (2012, February 6). Women have more knee ligament injuries than men due to geometry, not gender. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 19, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/02/120206122626.htm
American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. "Women have more knee ligament injuries than men due to geometry, not gender." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/02/120206122626.htm (accessed December 19, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, December 19, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Kids Die While Under Protective Services

Kids Die While Under Protective Services

AP (Dec. 18, 2014) As part of a six-month investigation of child maltreatment deaths, the AP found that hundreds of deaths from horrific abuse and neglect could have been prevented. AP's Haven Daley reports. (Dec. 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dads-To-Be Also Experience Hormone Changes During Pregnancy

Dads-To-Be Also Experience Hormone Changes During Pregnancy

Newsy (Dec. 18, 2014) A study from University of Michigan researchers found that expectant fathers see a decrease in testosterone as the baby's birth draws near. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Prenatal Exposure To Pollution Might Increase Autism Risk

Prenatal Exposure To Pollution Might Increase Autism Risk

Newsy (Dec. 18, 2014) Harvard researchers found children whose mothers were exposed to high pollution levels in the third trimester were twice as likely to develop autism. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
UN: Up to One Million Facing Hunger in Ebola-Hit Countries

UN: Up to One Million Facing Hunger in Ebola-Hit Countries

AFP (Dec. 17, 2014) Border closures, quarantines and crop losses in West African nations battling the Ebola virus could lead to as many as one million people going hungry, UN food agencies said on Wednesday. Duration: 00:52 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins