Objective: To present epidemiologic studies on anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries in female athletes.
Data sources: MEDLINE was searched from 1978 to 1998 with the terms "anterior cruciate ligament" and "female athlete" among others. Additional sources were knowledge base and oral, didactic, and video presentations.
Data synthesis: Epidemiologic studies have focused on level of participation, specific sports, sex differences and contributing factors, injury mechanism, prevention programs, and outcomes studies. Female athletes have a significantly increased risk of noncontact ACL injuries over male athletes in soccer and basketball.
Conclusions/recommendations: I believe that appropriate intervention programs can reduce these alarming rates of ACL injuries.