Females are six times more likely to suffer ACL injuries in football as compared to their male counterparts. Unfortunately, it’s not unusual to see a women’s club declare that a player will miss time due to an ACL tear. Just a few of the players who have been ruled out for this season alone include Jessica Ziu of West Ham, Chantelle Boye-Hlorkah of Aston Villa, and the Tottenham combo of Kyah Simon and Ellie Brazil. The topic also gained attention during the European Championships this past summer. After rupturing her ACL two days before Spain’s tournament opener, Ballon d’Or winner Alexia Putellas missed it. Just days after joining Aston Villa, Simone Magill sustained the same injury during Northern Ireland’s opening match of the tournament against Norway.
Marie-Antoinette Katoto, a striker for France, hobbled off against Belgium in their second group game after rupturing her ACL. She had been considered a favorite to win the Golden Boot at the 2022 European Championship. The list of female athletes who have endured the arduous ACL rehabilitation process may go on forever, but there hasn’t been any scientific investigation into why women are more prone than males to experience the injury. Although there hasn’t been enough evidence to date to substantiate it, there are ideas that suggest menstrual cycles have an important effect.
“We are aware that female athletes are up to six times more likely than male athletes to sustain an ACL injury without contact,” Dr. Emma Ross said about ACL injuries in football. “There isn’t a lot of research on female athletes since, according to a paper we published a year ago, only around 6% of sport and exercise science studies are done purely on women, meaning they focus on issues relating to the female body. However, what is known regarding the menstrual cycle and injury is that the body’s physiology and biomechanics can be affected by the fluctuating hormone levels throughout the cycle.”
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