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Q

My high school, teenage daughter is a soccer player. When I watch her run and jump, I notice that her knees knock together. Is she at risk for a serious knee injury?

 
A

Based on the observations you describe, I would most be concerned about injury to
her Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL). Depending on which article you read, females are
2-8x more likely to tear their ACL than their male counterparts. Researchers locally at
OSU, nationally and internationally are baffled by this phenomenon and are trying to
identify the cause. It was postulated that it was due to poor mechanics, or hormones, or
pelvic position. To date, we do not know the cause of this increased incidence of ACL tears
in the female population, but yet, we still have a problem. Your question is a good one.
Not only for prevention, possibly, of ACL tears but other conditions of the hip, knee, foot
or ankle. Excessive stress in the positions that you describe, especially during motions of
running and jumping, can put pressure on your joints of greater than 4x your body
weight. This truly will irritate muscle, tendon, bone and/or ligamentous structures. Many
programs across the country are available to help teach girls and boys with poor jumping
mechanics become better movers. If we can improve mechanics, often we can decrease
load and stress to joints, decrease pain (e.g., knee cap pain, patellar tendonitis) and
improve strength and performance by merely decreasing wasted energy required to
control movement. Sportsmetrics™ is one such program that we offer to improve
function by focusing on flexibility, strength, balance and plyometric (jump training) in a
controlled and feedback driven environment. Please see our website at www.albanysportspt.com
for more information.

www.albanysportspt.com
617 Hickory St. NW, Suite 160
ALbany, OR • Phone 541.928.1411