Just because school's out for summer doesn't mean the sports stop. Millions of kids will play in Summer sports leagues. Any kids playing sports run the risk of injury, especially when it comes to the knees. But some kids are more at risk than others.
Jesse Greenspan is 17 years old and said, "My knee locked but my body kept going forward, and I heard it pop."
That's the sound that Jesse and every athlete fears -- a torn A-C-L. That's the ligament that connects the bones in the knee and keeps it stable,
"I started crying. It was my first year on varsity tenth grade, and I was just disappointed that I had to end the season so soon.", Jesse Said.
That kind of disappointment is far more likely to happen to a girl. In fact, according to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, female athletes are four to six times more likely to tear their A-C-L than male athletes. Experts say the problem is the way females play and the way they're made. "They land more stiff legged and tend to hyperextend, and by looking at studies of their muscles we know that's due primarily due to the fact that their muscles are recruited or fire, or contract differently than the way males do.", said Dr. John Xerogeanes. Xerogeanes is an Orthopedic Surgeon.
Experts also say that one way to reduce the risk is called 'jump training'. That's teaching girls how to land and move differently. The other is to work out with weights and do it regularly. Dr. Xerogeanes said, "You need to tell your daughters that the more they lift the stronger they're gonna be and the less chance they're gonna have of having a serious knee injury."
For Jesse, hours of rehabilitation have taught her a lesson, "Make sure your body's strong before you just go into something. Like strengthen yourself and then that will prevent injuries."
Swimming and cycling are also great exercises for strengthening the knee.