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C. A Crucial Ligament In Women

Narrator: This is Science Today. Female athletes are more prone than their male counterparts to injure their anterior crucial ligament, or ACL. Dr. Robert Pedowitz, a sports medicine specialist at the University of California, San Diego, says the ACL runs from the back of the thigh bone to the front of the tibia.

Pedowitz: Normally, that ligament keeps the knee from shifting or giving way during sports, particularly when athletes who are doing running or pivoting or twisting sports and so when an athlete injures that ligament, then they tend to have problems with instability of the knee afterwards.

Narrator: Pedowitz has been looking into why women are at higher risk of rupturing this ligament.

Pedowitz: The difference appears to be that women may have a different balance in the muscles that work to extend the knee versus the muscles that work to flex the knee. Because of that relative imbalance in the muscles, it may put more force on that ligament during sports activities which could therefore result in a higher risk of injury.

Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.