Maddy Collimore (top right) must sit out this season after tearing her ACL earlier this year. SOURCE: NDAFC Tigers.
Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) injuries in women’s soccer have been at the forefront of discussion during this year’s FIFA Women’s World Cup in Australia but it’s not just professional soccer players who are plagued by the ‘ACL epidemic’.
ACL tears are one of the most prevalent injuries in AFL. Like most sports, women are far more likely to suffer from this tear to the knee ligament than men.
In sports such as soccer and netball, women are three times more likely to injure their ACL. In AFL this rate increases significantly to five to nine times higher than men.
Physiotherapist at Purpose Physio Woonona, Jack Rodda, said one of the reasons women tear their ACL more in AFL compared to men is because women’s leagues have only been around since 2017. Women often weren’t exposed to the sport when they were younger.
“It’s better to learn the skills while we are at a developing age so that as adults, we aren’t learning new movements – pivoting and twisting movements – without the skill and the knowledge of the sport,” Mr Rodda said.
“We’re essentially made out of rubber when we’re young so we tend to not get injuries like this anywhere near as often.”