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The team doctor Hetling – Cross with Tape – explains the sport

The team doctor Hetling – Cross with Tape – explains the sport


Like superstar Iman Bini, a number of stars miss the World Cup due to a cruciate ligament tear. Swiss team physician Tanja Hetling explains why.

Vivian Miedema, Marie Antoinette Catoto, Delphine Cascarino, Leah Williamson, Beth Mead, or Julia Gwynn, Nadia Nadim: No, this is not the potential list for the Women’s World Cup selection of the best player in Australia and New Zealand. Instead of applying for the championship eleven, all of these superstars missed out – due to a cruciate ligament tear.

The buildup is amazing, but it is not an entirely new phenomenon, as Swiss team doctor Tanya Hetling explains: “It does not come suddenly and has been known for years. In sports medicine nothing like the cruciate ligament has been studied ».

5 to 8 times higher for women

The fact that so many big names are missing out on the World Cups in Australia and New Zealand is pure mathematics. “In women, the risk of cruciate ligament rupture is 5 to 8 times higher,” Hetling explains.

The main reason for this is simply anatomical reasons: “Women tend to have exposed knees, which in turn increases the risk of inward twisting of the knee,” says Hetling. “In addition, women have smaller knees, a wider pelvis, and a higher pivot for weight transfer. This leads to less stability.”

Plus, as with many things in sports, research among women is relatively lagging behind. The basis of all tests is tailored to suit men, as is training theory. Although much has already happened, Hetling calls for more gender-specific research. In addition to all the anatomical “flaws” listed, a woman has an effect on her menstrual cycle.

Penny and Vollmley are also missing, due to a torn cruciate ligament

The Swiss team was also not spared from the cruciate ligament rupture. Shooting star Iman Penny – who recently had surgery – was injured in early July. Nor has Svenja Volmli been fit enough after tore her cruciate ligament at the end of October.

What is being done to make this nightmare diagnosis less common for every athlete? Hetling: “Prevention has been going on for years or decades and is constantly being improved.” After all, this reduces the risk of a cruciate ligament rupture by 60 to 80 percent. However, the patriot lamented, “It’s not 100 percent.”