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10:51 AM

KMBC 9: Doctors say ACL tears in teenage girls are becoming an epidemic

A new injury prevention program at The Center for Sports Medicine at Children's Mercy hopes to change that

High school-age girls are six times more likely to tear their ACL than teenage boys. Now, Children’s Mercy is stepping up with a six-week prevention program at its Blue Valley Clinic.

“We have seen an epidemic in recent years,” said Dr. Greg Canty, Medical Director for the Center for Sports Medicine at Children’s Mercy.

Michaela Weist is just one of those cases. “I never thought it would happen to me.”

She tore her ACL playing soccer. “I was just in so much pain, and I didn’t want to move.”

Young women like Micaela are at greater risk partially because their hips are wider, “Which causes kind of a different angle on the knee than on males,” said Certified Athletic Trainer Mallory Valenstein.

But guys benefit from the training offered at this clinic, too. “We do a lot of plyometrics, a lot of footwork.”

Properly landing jumps is a big focus. While landing recovery from a tear can take six months or longer.

“I thought I just hurt my knee and I would be back in a couple of months,” said Weist.

“For a lot of athletes, quite honestly, they think it is going to end their athletic career,” said Valenstein.

Thanks to programs like this – it doesn’t have to.


Watch the story via KMBC 9.

Learn more about The Center for Sports Medicine at Children's Mercy.

Find out more by checking out the Sports Medicine ACL Injury Prevention Program.