There are several theories as to why the disparity exists, according to A. Brion Gardner, a Manassas-based orthopedic surgeon specializing in sports medicine who has performed nearly 300 ACL procedures.
A variation between men and women in the size of the notch where the ACL crosses the knee joint may be a factor, he said. Hormonal and biomechanical differences also are considerations.
Regardless of gender, a complete ACL procedure lasts approximately two to three hours, although the actual repair of the ligament requires roughly an hour to 90 minutes. Patients generally leave the hospital the same evening, and rehabilitation begins as soon as the next day.
On the road back
Moseley’s procedure was scheduled for noon, but she was running late to Baltimore’s Kernan Hospital, part of the University of Maryland medical system. Getting lost on the way didn’t help.
“It was all right though,” Moseley said. “We improvised.”
She managed to arrive only a half-hour behind schedule, and the operation went smoothly, Moseley said, except for the protracted time it took for her to emerge from anesthesia. Her parents, Beatrice and Eugene Moseley, were there when she awoke, as was her grandmother.
It was around 11 p.m. by the time Moseley, still a bit groggy, got back to College Park. The next morning at 9, she was at Comcast Center starting rehabilitation while the rest of the team practiced.
An early milestone during ACL rehab is achieving full leg extension within the first several weeks. Moseley was able to reach 80 degrees the day after surgery, which she called “amazing.” In the three-plus weeks since the operation, Moseley also has been performing exercises to strengthen leg muscles weakened from lack of use immediately after the tear.
Having gone through one ACL rehab, Moseley is fully aware what to anticipate in the long term, and simply going to the gym to be with her teammates is inspiration enough, she says, to keep her on track to be back by the start of next season.
Game days are another matter.
“Yeah, I miss the court,” said Moseley, who will be in her usual spot behind the bench for Wednesday’s game against Nebraska. “But my position on this team has changed, so I’ve just got to move with that. It’s just adversity I’m facing and the team is facing. As my role has changed, I’ve just got to keep motivating my teammates for them to get better.”