Girls possibly more likely to suffer sports injuries

April 2, 2010 3:26:31 PM PDT
The soccer season is getting under way, and that means young athletes will be coping with some common injuries.Some experts say girls are more likely to hurt their knees than boys are.

High school senior Alyssa Brann has been playing soccer since she was four years old. She was virtually injury-free until a year ago when she turned too quickly and twisted her knee.

She had to have surgery to repair her anterior cruciate ligament, or ACL.

"ACL is a ligament inside your knee that gives your knee stability, and it's the most common thing that we see in terms of serious injuries among female soccer players, female athletes in general," said Dr. John Xerogeanes, Emory Univ. sports medicine.

Dr. Xerogeanes says wider hips and a tendency to land in a knock-kneed position during play makes girls more susceptible to injury.

One solution is retraining. Alyssa learned to jump and land more effectively. So, her knees remain in a more stable, wider stance.

She has been cleared to play again after a year of physical therapy followed by strength training.