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Hormonal Therapy: ACL and Ankle Injury


Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise: January 2006 - Volume 38 - Issue 1 - p 7-12
doi: 10.1249/01.mss.0000194072.13021.78
Clinical Sciences: Clinical Investigations

Background: No definitive explanation for the difference in rate of male and female noncontact ACL injury has been found. The hormonal environment, known to be different in men and women has been hypothesized as a possible source for this difference in injury rate.

Purpose: To confirm earlier work looking at periodicity of noncontact ACL injury. To increase sample size by adding ankle sprains. To determine the rate of noncontact ACL injury and ankle sprains in collegiate basketball and soccer. To determine if the use of oral contraceptives affects the rate of noncontact ACL injury and ankle sprains.

Methods: Data was collected from a sample of NCAA schools over the 2000–2001 basketball and the 2001–2002 basketball and soccer seasons.

Results: Recall and prospective data collection of length of menstrual cycle did not produce equivalent results. Periodicity was present only in the recall group of “off pill” users. The rate of noncontact ACL injury and noncontact ankle sprains was twice as high in basketball as in soccer. There was no difference in rate of injuries between those athletes using hormonal therapy and those athletes not using hormonal therapy.

Conclusions: Noncontact ACL injuries and ankle sprains occurred at significantly higher rates in basketball than in soccer but this rate difference was not linked to hormonal therapy usage. The overall rate of noncontact ACL injury and ankle sprain to women's collegiate basketball and soccer players is very low.

1Departments of Orthopaedic Surgery and 2Health Services Research, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN

Address for correspondence: Julie Agel, Dept. of Orthopaedic Surgery, Univ. of Minnesota, 2450 Riverside Av. S, R200, Minneapolis, MN 55454; E-mail:

Submitted for publication June 2004.

Accepted for publication June 2005.

The authors wish to acknowledge the NCAA and the ATCs who contributed the data. The authors had no professional relationship with any company or manufacturer who would benefit from the results of the present study nor do the results of the present study constitute endorsement of any product.

©2006The American College of Sports Medicine