Mercy's Dr. John Paul-Rue Discusses High Rate of ACL Injuries Among Women

January 2, 2018
Orthopedics and Joint Replacement at Mercy - Baltimore, MD

Females are four to six times more likely to suffer an injury to their ACL than their male counterparts. More and more, young female athletes are playing on artificial turf instead of grass.

High school junior Arianna Shea can't wait to get back out on the lacrosse field. Right now she's recovering from a serious injury.

"I had the ball and I just planted wrong and I heard a pop. I remember holding my leg, looking down and I saw it dislocated, and I started screaming," Shea said.

Shea came to see orthopedic surgeon and sports medicine expert Dr. John-Paul Rue of Mercy Medical Center, Mercy Personal Physicians at Glen Burnie.

"He told me that I tore my ACL. I sprained my PCL, MCL and I had a bruised bone," Shea said. "I just planted wrong and all that happened."

Shea played on artificial turf. Dr. Rue believes the field surface does play a part in injuries.

"One of the great advantages of artificial turf is it allows for multiple sports, multiple teams, multiple weather events all to be occurring at the same time without worrying about the playability if that surface and unfortunately, there may be a correlation, particularly with some sports, with an increased risk of injury, particularly to the ACL," Dr. Rue said.

Although many athletes like the grip of artificial turf that is exactly what can cause the injury.

"Your foot can catch and it causes a lot of forces to transmit through the foot into the leg, across the knee and the weak link in the knee is going to be the ACL, and when it rotates, that's going to cause injury to the ACL, and that's a significant injury," Dr. Rue said.

Shea has had surgery for her injury and does physical therapy several times a week. Her goal is to be back on the lacrosse field come spring.

View Mercy orthopedic surgeon and sports medicine expert Dr. John-Paul Rue’s interview regarding women and ACL injuries.

Dan Collins - Senior Director of Media Relations at Mercy Medical Center

Dan Collins, Senior Director of Media Relations

Email: Office: 410-332-9714 Cell: 410-375-7342

About Mercy

Founded in 1874, Mercy Medical Center is a university-affiliated medical facility named one of the top 100 hospitals in the U.S. by Thomson-Reuters with a national reputation for women’s health. Mercy is home to the nationally acclaimed Weinberg Center for Women’s Health and Medicine as well as the $400+ million, 20-story Mary Catherine Bunting Center. For more information visit Mercy online at, Facebook, Twitter or call 1-800-MD-MERCY.

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