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Mika Sakamoto’s Thesis: Female ACL Laxity

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Mika Sakamoto’s thesis examined the relationship between ACL laxity and women’s menstrual cycle phases. During her 2014 lacrosse season, Mika tore her own ACL and began to question why. Her research showed that women are six times more likely than men to tear their ACLs, and many studies show that higher laxity is related to higher incidence of ACL tear. For two months, she used the KT1000 arthrometer to measure the laxity of girls’ knees from the cross country and basketball teams and conducted a statistical analysis to find any changes in the laxity between phases. Mika used the machine to administer multiple exams regarding the movement of her subjects’ knees. The active quad test, which tests laxity while the quadriceps muscles are flexed, was the only exam with a significant difference in the follicular phase of the menstrual cycle, where there appeared to be a lower laxity. Due to the fact that during this test the knees were less lax, Mika hypothesized that the hormones throughout the menstrual cycle do not affect the laxity, but instead they affect how people control their muscles.

In order to further her study, Mika tore her other ACL during the follicular phase. Way to go, Mika!

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