Hanna Glas, Beth Mead, Vivianne Miedema and Leah Williamson were some of the international stars who missed the World Cup due to cruciate ligament injuries. After the World Cup, two more Swedish national team players have suffered the same injury.

And if the statistics are to be believed, it is no coincidence. Football is the sport with the most practitioners in Sweden and also the one where the most people get injured.

The women's players run a slightly higher risk than the men's of suffering knee injuries. This is shown by figures from Folksam, the company that insures nine out of ten athletes.

Even in floorball and handball, knee injuries are relatively common. The incidence rate, i.e. the number of injuries per thousand athletes per year, is twice as high among women's as among men's handball players.

Higher risk for girls

Magnus Forssblad is an orthopedic surgeon and responsible for the Cruciate Ligament Registry. He says that 4000,<> cruciate ligament surgeries are performed in Sweden every year.

"There, there is a preponderance for men, by a few percent. On the other hand, women aged 15-25 have a much higher proportion of cruciate ligament injuries compared to men in all sports.

According to Forssblad, young girls run a higher risk, both of suffering a cruciate ligament injury and of injuring themselves again when the first injury has healed.

"One reason may be that girls get into sports early compared to boys, for example in Damallsvenskan it is quite young girls who play. Then you can ask yourself if they are prepared, if they have sufficient muscle mass.

Important with fast treatment

If you suffer an injury, it is important to quickly get the right diagnosis and treatment, says Forssblad.

"Otherwise, there is a risk that you twist the knee again and then the entire meniscus, or pieces of cartilage, may come off.

Can knee injuries be prevented?

– They have a project in Sweden called "Knee control" where you let the players do a special knee session of 10-15 minutes before training. Then we looked at several thousand players and among those who had had knee checks, cruciate ligament injuries decreased by over 70 percent.