Knee injury patterns among men and women in collegiate basketball and soccer. NCAA data and review of literature

Am J Sports Med. 1995 Nov-Dec;23(6):694-701. doi: 10.1177/036354659502300611.


Women's participation in intercollegiate athletics has increased dramatically in recent years. Greater participation has increased awareness of health and medical issues specific to the female athlete. Some reports have noted a higher susceptibility to knee injury, specifically injuries to the anterior cruciate ligament, in female athletes as compared with their male counterparts. We performed a 5-year evaluation of anterior cruciate ligament injuries in collegiate men's and women's soccer and basketball programs using the National College Athletic Association Injury Surveillance System. Results showed significantly higher anterior cruciate ligament injury rates in both female sports compared with the male sports. Noncontact mechanisms were the primary cause of anterior cruciate ligament injury in both female sports. Possible causative factors for this increase in anterior cruciate ligament injuries among women may be extrinsic (body movement, muscular strength, shoe-surface interface, and skill level) or intrinsic (joint laxity, limb alignment, notch dimensions, and ligament size).

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anterior Cruciate Ligament Injuries
  • Athletic Injuries / epidemiology
  • Basketball / injuries*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Joint Instability / epidemiology
  • Knee Injuries / epidemiology*
  • Ligaments, Articular / injuries
  • Ligaments, Articular / pathology
  • Male
  • Motor Skills
  • Movement
  • Muscle Contraction
  • Population Surveillance
  • Sex Factors
  • Shoes
  • Soccer / injuries*
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Universities