It may be hard to remember a time when it was uncommon for girls and women to play competitive sports, but it’s not exactly ancient history. The 1972 passage of Title IX, which mandated equal access for women to participate in sports and other educational activities that receive federal funding, gets credit for dramatically increasing the number of girls and women playing sports. In 1974, fewer than 300,000 girls played high school sports. By 2018, that figure skyrocketed to 3.4 million.
Unfortunately, that bump may have also increased the number of orthopedic injuries among girls and women. In fact, certain injuries, including ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) tears, ankle sprains, and stress fractures, turn out to be even more common in female athletes than they are in males.