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Intercondylar Notch Width and Height, Weight and Sex

0333 320 8404
Factors Affecting Subsequent ACL Injury After ACL Reconstruction

Intercondylar Notch Width and Height, Weight and Sex

1 Introduction >
2 Introduction to ACL injury and Intercondylar Notch Width >
3 Intercondylar Notch Width and Ligament Size >
4 Intercondylar Notch Width and Height, Weight and Sex
5 Current Data Regarding Subsequent ACL injury after ACL Reconstruction >
6 Conclusions >
7 References >

One might assume that larger people, both in height and stature, would have larger ACLs. Shelbourne and Kerr 3 conducted a study of 478 athletes to evaluate the relationship of the intercondylar notch to height, weight and sex. Like many other studies, women on average had significantly narrower intercondylar notches than men. However, there was no statistically significant correlation between height and intercondylar notch width for men or women. Futhermore, no significant correlation existed between weight and notch width for men or women. Therefore, body size is not a predictor of notch width or ACL size. Large men have the same size variation in ACL size as smaller men, and the same is true for women. However, for equal size men and women, whether at 6 feet or 5' 6" tall, men have larger ACLs than women in general.

Given that the incidence rate for ACL injury is higher for women than men who have the same exposure rate (play and train for their sport over the same number of hours), ACL injury has been labeled as a female problem. However, it is important to remember that more men participate in athletics and have much more exposure to injury, and there are still many more ACL reconstructions performed on men than women. In my practice, only 35% of the ACL reconstructions are performed on women. I believe that men who have small ACLs are at equal risk for ACL injury as women who have small ACLs.

5 Current Data Regarding Subsequent ACL injury after ACL Reconstruction >