Dr. Mullen explains why women are more likely to injure their anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) and shares if wearing high heels increase the risk of an ACL tear. Dr. Mullen is an orthopedic surgeon at Baywood Medical Center in Mesa, Arizona.
Hi, my name is Dan Mullen. I am fellowship trained orthopedic surgeon working at the Banner Baywood Medical Center in Mesa, Arizona.
I specialize in sports medicine and I see a range of patients with a range of different problems.
I see ACL tears, arthritis, knee problem, shoulder problems and hip problems, and I take care of patients from a variety of places including Gilbert, Mesa, Tempe, Chandler, Scottsdale and the greater East Valley of Phoenix.
Women are at a higher risk of tearing the ACL or the anterior cruciate ligament as compared to men.
There’s a number of theories as to why that may be. They fall into three major categories.
Anatomic differences -- Women, of course, have a wider pelvic brim, a natural accommodation for the potential for childbirth, and that leads to an increased valgus angle at the knee which can potentially cause increased strains on the ACL and eventually potentially lead it to rupture.
A second consideration is hormonal. There are estrogen receptors, progesterone receptors in the knee and most notably on the ACL.
And there is an idea that these receptors can be involved in weakening the ACL at different times of a female’s menstrual cycle, hence precluding them to injuries at different times.
A third consideration is neuromuscular balancing and control. It’s been shown that when a woman lands from a jump or a fall, she typically activates her quadriceps mechanisms at a higher proportion in relation to the hamstrings as compared to a man.
There are jump mechanics programs to help educate women and to retrain these muscles to minimize her chances of tearing her ACL.
High heels don’t necessarily increase the risk of tearing the ACL because it’s usually a firm foot plant combined with a twist that leads to the injury.
And when they are wearing shoes other than athletic shoes it’s of low likelihood that they will tear their ACL. It’s more likely that they would tear it wearing firm athletic shoes participating in athletic maneuvers.
About Dr. Daniel J. Mullen, M.D.:
Dr. Daniel J. Mullen, M.D., specializes in reconstructive procedures of both the knee and shoulder. He did his undergraduate studies at the University of Notre Dame. He went to medical school at Temple University in Philadelphia and did his orthopaedic training in Baltimore centered out of Union Memorial Hospital. He also worked at Johns Hopkins University Hospital and the Shock Trauma Center. He did a fellowship at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio where he was assistant team doctor for the Cleveland Browns, the Cleveland Cavaliers, and the spring training division of the Cleveland Indians. He has authored numerous articles and textbook chapters and delivered many research and teaching presentations on surgery of the knee and the shoulder on both a national and international level. He volunteers his time and resources to help the local high school athletes during their sporting seasons. He lives in Gilbert, AZ, with his wife and two boys.
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Conditions: Arthritis, Osteoarthritis, Rheumatoid Arthritis
Related Terms: ACL Tear, ACL Reconstruction, ACL Injury, Anterior Cruciate Ligament, Ligament Injury, Knee Injury, Sports Injury, Knee Pain, Healthy Diet, Knee Replacement, Rehab, Physical Therapy, Recovery, Shoulder, RNG Structure, Scar Tissue, Muscle
Health Care Provider: Banner Baywood Medical Center, Orthopedic Institute at Banner Baywood Medical Center, Banner Health
Locations: Mesa, Arizona, South East Valley, Chandler, Arizona, Tempe, Arizona, Gilbert, Arizona, Scottsdale, Arizona, Apache Junction, AZ, Queen Creek, AZ, Phoenix East Valley, 85206
Expert: Daniel Mullen, M.D., Dan Mullen, M.D., Dr. Dan Mullen, Doctor Dan Mullen, Orthopedic Surgeon, Dr. Daniel Mullen
Expertise: Sports Injury, Anterior Cruciate Ligament, (ACL) Tears, ACL Tear Repair Rehabilitation, ACL Reconstructive Surgery, ACL Repair Surgery, ACL Knee Surgery, Women ACL Repair, Specialist, Sports ACL Procedure Repair, Skiing ACL Tear Expert, Women's Arthritis Expert, Arthritis Knee And Joint Pain, Expert Hip Replacement, Arthritis Joint Replacement, ACL Treatment Recovery, Knee Surgery, Rehab, Joint-Replacement Procedure, Hip And knee-Replacement Procedures, Sports-Related And Emergency Injuries, Degenerative Conditions Affecting The Bones, Joint Degeneration, Muscle Aches And Pain, Ligaments Tear Reconstruction, Tendon Repair Surgery, Cartilage Problems