April 17, 2009

Monthly cycle may affect women’s knees

Canadian researchers may have answered the puzzle as to why women suffer more knee injuries than men -- it may be due to their monthly hormone cycle.

A University of Calgary research project -- a collaboration between kinesiology, engineering and health sciences researchers -- found that not all woman experience knee laxity -- looseness -- at the same time of their menstrual cycle.

One of the lead authors Darren Stefanyshyn said female athletes are between two and eight times more likely to injure their anterior cruciate ligament in the knee than men.

In the University of Calgary study, 26 women were monitored throughout the course of their monthly course of cycle. Their knee laxity was measured at each phase and they were asked to perform several athletic movements like quick cuts, or sharp jumps.

The researchers found that the greater knee laxity lead to biomechanical differences that could lead to injury in a game situation.