The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is the most commonly injured knee ligament with the highest incidence of injury in female athletes who participate in pivoting sports. Noncontact ACL injuries commonly occur with both internal and external tibial rotation. ACL impingement against the lateral wall of the intercondylar notch during tibial external rotation and abduction has been proposed as an injury mechanism, but few studies have evaluated in vivo gender-specific differences in laxity and stiffness in external and internal tibial rotations. The purpose of this study was to evaluate these differences. The knees of 10 male and 10 female healthy subjects were rotated between internal and external tibial rotation with the knee at 60° of flexion. Joint laxity, stiffness, and energy loss were compared between male and female subjects. Women had higher laxity (p = 0.01), lower stiffness (p = 0.038), and higher energy loss (p = 0.008) in external tibial rotation than did men. The results suggest that women may be at greater risk of ACL injury resulting from impingement against the lateral wall of the intercondylar notch, which has been shown to be associated with external tibial rotation and abduction.
- ACL impingement
- Gender and knee biomechanical properties
- Knee joint laxity
- Knee joint stiffness
- Tibial rotation
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine