Girls more likely to tear ACL than boys when playing sports

Girls more likely to tear ACL than boys when playing sports

EUGENE, Ore. - Teen girls who participate in basketball and soccer are between 4 and 5 times more likely than boys to tear their ACL by landing on it wrong, according to Dr Michael Koester.

Koester said he thinks the difference could just be physical.

"Boys tend to be a little more dominant in the hamstring, girls tend to be a little bit more dominant in the quadricep," Koester said.

It can be 8 months before someone who suffers an ACL injury is back on their feet, but the problems from it can span decades, causing arthritis in as little as 10 years after the initial injury.    

Because of the severity of ACL tears, preventing them is key.

According to Bev Smith with KidSports, the best way to do that is to teach children how to use their bodies.

"You're teaching children agility, balance, coordination that allows them to move their body with some confidence and in control, so that they might have a lesser opportunity of incidence or injury," Smith said.

Training won't eliminate ACL injuries, but it can reduce the likelihood.

That's good news for an injury with such lasting effects.