• Vol. 33 No. 3, 298–301
  • 15 May 2004

Rising Trend of Anterior Cruciate Ligament Injuries in Females in a Regional Hospital



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Introduction: We see a rising trend in the number of anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries in females over the past 4 years (1999 to 2002). This article seeks to identify and examine the rising trend in the number of ACL injuries in females in our institution over this period.

Materials and Methods: Two hundred and fifty-nine patients with ACL reconstructions were identified and their casenotes were retrieved from the medical records office. Of these, 13 were females.

Results: The number of ACL reconstructions has increased from 9 cases to 144 cases a year from 1999 to 2002. Over this period, 13 female cases (3 in 2001 and 10 in 2002) with an age range of 13 to 38 years were performed in our institution. Their injuries were mainly sustained from a bad landing or during pivoting on 1 leg. There were 8 patients (61.5%) with prior conditioning and experience and 5 without (38.5%). The mean number of years of prior training was 4.4 years. Of these 8, 4 were netball players. All were competitive players either at the school or club level and they were all playing as goal attackers.

Conclusion: Linear regression analysis shows a significant increase in the number of ACL reconstructions performed for females in our institution over this time period. Netball was a common sport in our series. This suggests a likely relationship between netball and ACL injuries. All the patients were playing as goal attackers. The area of court covered and frequency of jump-stop and sudden deceleration activities could be a cause.

Female athletes are at a greater risk for injuries involving the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) than their male counterparts in high schools and colleges in the United States. Noyes et al reported that 78% of all ACL injuries were non-contact in nature and they most often occurred on landing from a jump, while performing a cutting action, or upon sudden deceleration.

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