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Vonn’s Injury An Example Of Women’s Increased Risk Of ACL Issues

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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – On Tuesday, Minnesota native and Olympic champion Lindsey Vonn took a terrifying spill in the Alpine World Championships in Austria, tearing two knee ligaments.

She’ll need reconstructive surgery and up to a year of rehab.

Vonn joins the long list of athletes playing for Minnesota teams suffering torn ligaments.

Adrian Peterson battled back from the debilitating injury to become the 2012-13 NFL MVP.

And then there’s the Timberwolves’ Ricky Rubio who also went down with a knee injury, even though it didn’t appear to be that gruesome of an incident.

“It’s actually a pretty common way to injure the ACL — to have a non-contact injury,” said Dr. Jonathan Cooper, an orthopedic surgeon with HealthPartners.

He said while male athletes have gotten a lot of attention, it’s women who have to be careful.

“You expose people to the same sport, the same amount of time, and women have an eight to 10 times increased risk of tearing their ACL,” Cooper said.

Women’s hips change as they grow into athletes. It’s important to develop the right muscle control, which comes with the right equipment and training, Cooper said.

Most knee injuries are due to training errors, and orthopedic surgeons say proper coaching at a young age can also help reduce injury.

Identifying the problem with a professional is also important so you can correct what you’re doing wrong before getting injured.

Because of that, HealthPartners is holding a running seminar next month.

Contact Ryan Larson for the HealthPartners Running Clinic. The event is 8 a.m. until noon on March 23 and the phone number is 651-254-2883.

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