Port Pirie physiotherapist tells of high rate of knee injuries among women footballers

SPEAKER: Physiotherapist Clive Munzberg, left, is thanked for his speech by Rotarian Chris Keane. Club members were told of the risks leading to knee problems.
SPEAKER: Physiotherapist Clive Munzberg, left, is thanked for his speech by Rotarian Chris Keane. Club members were told of the risks leading to knee problems.

Australia's elite women footballers are cursed with a high rate of severe knee injuries.

This was revealed by Port Pirie physiotherapist and former basketballer and footballer Clive Munzberg in a speech to the Rotary Club of Port Pirie.

His topic was osteo-arthritis in knee joints and he asked club members to guess the ratio of AFLW women footballers to AFL footballers regarding the incidence of anterior-cruciate ligament knee injuries.

To the audience's surprise, Mr Munzberg said women players were nine times more likely than men to suffer the dreaded ACL problem.

He said one theory for this outcome was that the men footballers, as boys, had more rough-and-tumble play that stood their knees in good stead for later stress.

Footballers who had a reconstruction after an ACL injury were likely to suffer arthritis in the joint in their 40s.

Mr Munzberg said the average age for knee replacement had fallen from being in the 70s to the 60s as the nation had become more overweight and less active.

He said a person who reduced their weight by a kilogram removed five kilograms of stress on their knees.

It was desirable to exercise for 150 minutes a week with some resistance training as well.

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