Science of the Summer Games: Basketball/ACL injury analysis

Science of the Summer Games: Basketball/ACL injury analysis


In basketball, we see that because
there’s a lot of running and jumping and landing and cutting, that there’s some
very high forces in the ligaments. And we see this especially in women’s basketball. And oftentimes, these lead to ACL injuries in this particular sport. For some reason,
women are more susceptible to getting ACL injuries than men are. There’s a lot of factors involved in
that. Could be because that there are hormonal differences in women and we
know that hormones can affect the stress-strain properties of the tissues. There is a difference in the geometry of
the hips of women in which the pelvis is larger and it makes the forces through
the knee go in a slightly different angle and that can affect the way the
ACL gets torn. Fundamentally, a lot of it has to do
with the way the muscles are used to stabilize the joint. If you use your
muscles properly and you can pull the joint together with the muscles, then
you can take a lot of the loads off the ligaments It’s only when things are caught
unexpectedly and the muscles don’t have a chance to react that that the force
gets born by the ligaments and then that causes them to rupture. We have
people walk and run and cut in the laboratory because we want to take a
look at what forces are going through the knee during different types of
activities of daily living. We do this in healthy people and people
who have had ACL injuries and we’re interested in taking the data from the
gait lab and from that we put it into a model that allows us to estimate forces
in the muscles and the tendons and ligaments and the cartilage, and we can
see what happens as those forces get translated into the human body. What we’ve found is that during cutting
tasks, especially the forces are very high in
the ligaments, which is what leads to ACL injuries.

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