Podcast: ACL Research – we talk to global expert Professor Kate Webster

Women’s football is full of talk about an ACL injury ‘epidemic’ – but is this really the case? To help us find answers we were delighted to welcome to the podcast, world-leading ACL injury research expert Professor Kate Webster who is Director of the Sport, Exercise, and Research Focus Area at La Trobe University in Melbourne, Australia.

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For over 20 years Professor Webster’s research has covered many topics that relate to ACL injury, surgery, and recovery – not only the biomechanical changes that can occur after surgery but also return to sport issues following ACL reconstruction. She was lead developer of the Anterior Cruciate Ligament Return to Sport after Injury scale and has won many research awards. Interestingly Australia has the highest global rates per capita of ACL reconstruction, and her research is very much focussed on real-world results that inform surgical practice. You won’t find anyone who knows more!

Our chat covers the latest facts and figures surrounding everything from who is most likely to suffer an ACL injury, does age and gender make a difference, which sports are affected most, what are reinjury rates like, and why they occur.

She has done fascinating research looking into subjects like how recovery time is a factor when returning to sport to avoid re-injury and the results to this and other questions can be eye-opening! In fact, this is what makes this whole episode so fascinating – much of what Professor Webster and her team uncover is not what they initially expect to find. She has also looked extensively into the psychological side of injury and how it affects return to sport.

Professor Mackay has met Professor Webster at overseas medical meetings and as we are currently in the process of filming a mini-document about ACL injuries in young, female football players was keen to get such an expert in the field onto our podcast.

A brilliant episode – and one that highlights that among what can seem scary statistics for young female athletes – there are lots of positives in there too – Don’t miss it.

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