Sideline Sports Doc: Are girls at a higher risk for injury than boys?

Sideline Sports Doc: Are girls at a higher risk for injury than boys?

Editor’s Note: This article by Midwest Orthopedics at Rush in Chicago first appeared on its website and and SoccerAmerica. Sideline Sports Doc is advancing the Players First pillar of Player Health & Safety.

Parents and players beware: recent reports have shown that youth sports-related injuries are on the rise.

But who is more at risk: girls or boys?

The answer is surprising. Girls are actually more at risk for several of the most common ones, including ankle sprains, concussion and ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) injuries in the knee. JADA Pediatrics recently found a 59 percent increase in ACL injuries among girls age 13-17 over 13 years. And, the incidence of ACL tears in female athletes has been found to be two to 10 times higher than in male counterparts.

According to Dr. Jeremy Alland, a sports medicine physician at Midwest Orthopaedics at Rush: “the increase in ACL injuries among girls is due to a lack of neuromuscular strength training,” he explains. “Among other factors, girls tend to have less control at the hip and tend to land with their knees in an inward or “knock-kneed” position. This can increase their risk for knee injuries like ACL tears.”

It’s no secret that men and women are built differently, but the reasons why the rate of ACL injuries are higher in girls has been hotly debated.

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