The prevalence of ACL injuries in female athletes compared to men has come under the spotlight in recent years with the alarming ‘epidemic’ affecting women’s football.
Now, research has revealed various factors that could contribute to the increased risk of these injuries in elite female players.
The study suggests a correlation between the intensity of the game schedule, travel demands, and rest periods with the likelihood of sustaining an ACL injury.
Here we’ll explore the findings of this latest research and discuss the various treatment options available.
What Factors Affect ACL Injuries in Female Football Players?
A recent study by Fifpro, the players’ union, explored the workload and injury patterns of 139 female football players in Europe’s top leagues. Among them, 58 players were injured during the 2022-2023 season.
The study’s findings showed those who suffered ACL injuries typically had fewer rest days, played in more matches, and travelled more extensively than their uninjured counterparts.
This correlation suggests that the intense demands of the sport contribute to the higher incidence of ACL injuries in female footballers.
Preventing ACL Injuries in Women’s Sport
Preventing ACL injuries in women’s sports requires an understanding of the unique physiological and biomechanical factors at play.
One approach involves targeted training programs that focus on building up leg strength, improving balance, and teaching proper techniques for jumping and landing. These exercises aim to reduce the stress on the knee ligaments during intense activities.
Incorporating adequate rest periods and managing the match and training schedules can also help reduce the risk of overuse injuries like ACL tears.
Educating players and coaching staff about injury prevention and the importance of rest and recovery is crucial in safeguarding an athletes’ health and career.
Treating an ACL Injury: Your Options
When it comes to treating an ACL injury, the options vary based on the severity of the injury and the patient’s specific needs. One of the newer forms of treatment is Magnetic Resonance Therapy (MBST). This non-invasive treatment focuses on stimulating the regeneration of damaged tissues, potentially aiding in the recovery process without the need for surgery.
ACL repair surgery remains a common and effective treatment, especially for athletes looking to return to high-level sports. This procedure involves repairing or reconstructing the torn ligament to restore knee stability. Post-surgery rehabilitation is crucial for regaining strength and functionality.
A consultation with an orthopaedic surgeon who specialises in sports injuries, such as Mr Jonathan Webb, is essential for finding the right approach. If you would like to find out if MBST is an appropriate treatment option, call 020 3282 7553 to organise an assessment at MBST London.