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Are girls or boys more likely to have an ACL tear?

Dr. Michael Roizen, MD
Internal Medicine
High school football players may get more prime-time play and louder fans
than the girls’ soccer team, but in terms of injury, girls are eight times more likely than guys to tear their ACLs. Girls’ knees are less stable for several reasons: Their hips widen during puberty, which puts strain on the knee, plus the joint itself loosens due to hormonal changes. Yet another hormonal factor may come into play: Increased levels of estrogen around the time of a girl’s period may weaken joints and ligaments. To help avoid ACL tears, you want to support the joint by developing your quadriceps muscles in the front of the thigh, so that they are balanced in strength with the hamstring muscles on the back of the thigh.
YOU: The Owner's Manual for Teens: A Guide to a Healthy Body and Happy Life

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YOU: The Owner's Manual for Teens: A Guide to a Healthy Body and Happy Life

A few years ago, we wrote YOU: The Owner’s Manual, which taught people about the inner workings of their bodies—and how to keep them running strong. But you know what? There’s a big difference...

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.