Monday, March 22, 2010
A new study takes aim at the weak link in the athletes body -- the knee. Allegheny General Hospital (AGH) tested the way female student athletes move to try and determine what causes the high frequency of knee injuries. Anterior Cruciate Ligament or ACL injuries are one of the most common orthopedic injuries with more than 100,000 reported each year. Most tears to the ligament are caused by stopping, starting or pivoting. The girls' basketball teams form Avonworth and Northgate high schools participated in the trial where they were evaluated as they jumped and landed. The researchers found problems with 15 of 20 girls' balancing, jumping and landing techniques. By helping them adjust their movement, they were able to reduce the risk of injury. Eric Cardwell, an athletic trainer with AGH says they're also looking into how the physiological differences between men and women's bodies impact knee injuries.