Anterior Cruciate Ligament Injury Mechanisms in Female Athletes: A Finite Element Investigation
Abstract (Summary)The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is one of the most commonly injured ligaments of the knee, with female athletes sustaining ACL injuries at a 2-8 fold greater rate compared to male athletes. An ACL injury can be devastating and significantly increases the athlete's risk for osteoarthritis long term. While many advances have been made in terms of surgical and rehabilitation treatments for ACL injured patients, long term outcome studies show that these patients are at a high risk for developing knee osteoarthritis 10-15 years after ACL injury, regardless of the treatment. Currently, the mechanism of non-contact ACL injury is not well understood. In order to design successful ACL injury prevention programs and address the high rates of ACL injuries in the female athlete population, a better understanding of the non-contact ACL injury mechanism must be established. Utilizing a new interdisciplinary, multi-faceted approach to study ACL loading and injury mechanisms in female athletes, we explored the mechanical responses of the ACL to loads using computer mathematical modeling and three-dimensional motion analysis techniques. The computer model developed for this project is a valuable tool that can be readily manipulated to examine knee joint motions and loads and may be utilized as a tool to predict which athletes are at high risk of ACL injury. Prevention of even a portion of these ACL injuries would allow many athletes to receive the health benefits of sports participation and avoid the long term sequelae of disability associated with knee osteoarthritis.
School Location:USA - Ohio
Source Type:Master's Thesis
Date of Publication:07/14/2009