The Injury Epidemic in Women’s Sports
Original post made by ng, Hoover School, on Aug 17, 2008
From todays NYTWeb Link
Sokolove cites studies showing that young women who play soccer, basketball and volleyball suffer tears to the anterior cruciate ligament (or A.C.L., a flexible, rectangular-shaped band of tissue that stabilizes the knee joint) up to eight times as often as men in the same "jumping and cutting" sports.
And the injury parade doesn't end with hobbled knees.
Sokolove focuses on knees, which he calls "the site of the most dire long-term consequences."
An athlete who ruptures the A.C.L., sometimes from the simple act of planting her foot on the turf, loses a season and may have to swear off her sport.
The shredded A.C.L. is replaced in a complex surgery that requires fashioning a new one ideally, from the nearby patellar tendon and grafting it into place.
The procedure leaves scar tissue and puts the athlete at risk for arthritis, even for knee replacement before menopause.
And it's costly: one expert puts the tab for the surgery and months of rehab at $17,000 to $25,000 per injury.