Date of Award


Document Type

Scholarly Project

Degree Name

Master of Physical Therapy (MPT)


Physical Therapy

First Advisor

Beverly Johnson


Anterior Cruciate Ligament; Gonadal Steroid Hormones


Since 1972 the number of female athletes has increased more than 600% to a total of 1.9 million athletes. Unfortunately, "the quest for equal opportunity in sports has led many female athletes to equal opportunity for injuries, especially injuries to the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL)." For reasons that are still somewhat unclear the ACL injury rate is two to eight times higher for females compared their male counterparts. One intrinsic risk factor, which has devoured attention in recent years, is the influence female hormones have on the structure and integrity of ACL.

The purpose of this independent study was to review current studies and literature in order to determine whether or not hormones playa role in the increased incidence of female ACL injuries. Research in this area is limited, but of the studies reviewed there seems to be a strong con-elation between the late proliferative and early luteal phases of the menstrual cycle and an increased incidence of female ACL injuries. The results of studies already published regarding female ACL injury and fluctuating female hormones, provide sound justification for further research.