Welcome to a brand new episode of the Arsenal Women Arsecast.

Like most women’s teams, Arsenal have had their fare share of stories to tell when it comes to anterior cruciate ligament injuries. On the one hand, Jordan Nobbs made her long awaited return from an ACL injury during August, coming on as a second half substitute before scoring in a 6-0 victory over Spurs. Tim and Pippa caught up with Jordan exclusively for the podcast just after that game.

On the flipside, Danielle Carter ruptured her anterior cruciate ligament for the second time in 14 months during the Emirates Cup game against Bayern Munich. The game was her first start since her last ACL injury and it’s a difficult one to take for her, mentally as well as physically.

Female footballers are somewhere between 4-6 times more likely to rupture their ACL than their male counterparts. Tim and Pippa spoke to knee surgeon Pete Gallacher, who has performed plenty of ACL reconstructions, about what the injury is, what the surgery and recovery entails and why women are so much more susceptible to it.

We also have reaction to the Champions League draw with Fiorentina and Tim and Pippa pick out their players to watch for the season ahead and we have a cameo appearance from Danielle van de Donk. All that on this month’s episode of the Arsenal Women Arsecast.

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Fun Gunner
Fun Gunner

Enjoyed the podcast again, Tim and Pippa.

Interesting suggestions regarding the cause of ACL injuries. I was very cheered by Pete Gallacher’s view that the cause is mechanical and the most successful solution is training the muscles differently, because at least there is something that can be done to prevent it.

Made me chuckle when, having talked about “women” footballers and athletes, he started calling them “ladies” when he was talking about periods and how they land from a jump! Great chat, though – so good to have an expert opinion.

Peter Story Teller
Peter Story Teller

Like all injuries you cannot “prevent” them but at least you can reduce the risk. Surely if the research mentioned about landing, twisting and various hormone levels was made more common knowledge, particularly to the youth teams, by the time they make it through (hopefully) to first and international teams perhaps the incidences of ACL injuries might drop to similar levels experienced by men.
I trust there are no banned substances in contraceptive pills!

Fun Gunner
Fun Gunner

I doubt if there are banned substances in it because the Pill is already v widely used by female athletes, often without any breaks.

Fun Gunner
Fun Gunner

Oh my God, so sorry, Monique! “Pippa”? I don’t know what I was thinking.

Fun Gunner
Fun Gunner

I am totally embarrassing myself here, Pippa Monique. Let’s just draw a veil over the last comment…

Alan Holford
Alan Holford

Hi, this was my first time listening to the Women’s Arsecast as I’ve only recently subscribed to Arsecast in general and it was very interesting.

I can give a bit more background on the hormonal role in ligament injuries as it’s something I learnt about during my Veterinary degree. The reason hormones associated with menstruation affect ligament strength is to do with their duel role in pregnancy. Increases in certain hormones towards the end of pregnancy change the structure of collagen, one of the key constituents of a ligament, so that the cervix can relax, stretch and dilate to allow the baby to pass through. However, hormones are freely transported in the blood stream and so this change can cause a similar slackening in all ligaments. In animals we often see laminitis around the time of pregnancy where the ligaments which attach a cows foot bones to its hoof slacken causing the foot to drop and inflammation/pain in the area.

I also have a theory that these hormones may be involved in some forms of the Human chronic fatigue condition M.E. My sister suffers from that condition and has dislocated her hips several times as a teenager due to ‘slack ligaments’ – there are also reports that a large proportion of M.E. cases will resolve after giving birth – is this the resetting of a hormonal imbalance. Sufferers of M.E. also have a week immune system and high levels of progesterone in pregnancy have the effect of down-regulating parts of the immune system to prevent the mother’s immune cells from rejecting the foetus as a foreign body. NB I have nothing to back up the above theory but I think hormonal research is an interesting area and it’s important that research continues.

I look forward to further episodes,

Alan

Peter Story Teller
Peter Story Teller

Welcome on board Alan and thanks for the additional information.
Tim will probably agree that not all Arsecasts are quite so hormonal but this one was a special off the back of so many similar injuries in quick succession!