Saturday, May 25, 2024

New major investment in cruciate ligament injuries in women’s football – involving the players


Australia’s Sam Kerr had to leave the field against Sweden in the World Cup. Photo: Tertius Pickard / AP / NTB

Of NTB | 05/03/2024 07:05:35

Sport: The players’ association Fifpro has teamed up with Nike and other partners to find out even more about damage to the anterior cruciate ligament in the knee. It is an injury that is between two and six times more likely to affect women, writes Reuters.

The project is for three years and mainly deals with the twelve teams in the Super League in England (WSL).

– The players are invested, and organizations are invested, and we owe it to the players to provide better relationships and understanding, says head of research and former footballer Alex Culvin at Fifpro.

– It is far too bad, really tragically bad, not least the information we have about the female body taken as a whole. We can talk a lot about research, but there is far too little that has been put into a system when it comes to female athletes, Hegerberg told NTB.

Maren Mjelde and Emilie Haavi are among the players who have experienced tearing their cruciate ligament.

According to a study by the European Football Association (Uefa), a team with 23 players can expect three cruciate ligament injuries over the course of four years.

Last summer, the football World Cup went without several big profiles, including Vivianne Miedema (Netherlands), Beth Mead, Fran Kirby (both England), Marie-Antoinette Katoto (France) and Catarina Macario (USA).

Alex Culvin states that there has not been an explosion of events.

– We know that cruciate ligament injuries have existed as long as women’s football has existed, she says.

– It is not possible to suggest that there is a single risk factor, says Emmonds.

The project will look at existing research in the field, look at the teams’ resources and access to facilities and look at factors such as training load and travel.

Culvin says that tearing the cruciate ligament makes you more prone to it happening again. Earlier this month, Glasgow City and Scotland striker Fiona Brown tore her cruciate ligament for the fourth time in eight years.

– You only play football until you are 35 years old. You potentially have 60 more years of your life left to live, and that can be incredibly debilitating physically and mentally, says Culvin.

Ada Hegerberg, who herself broke her cruciate ligament four years ago, told NTB last year that she calls for more research on the topic.

Stacey Emmonds is a lecturer at Leeds Beckett University and says it will be good to involve the players in the research.

(© NTB)


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