Knee injuries in sport and in other activities are a sure sign that man was not meant to walk upright. And neither is woman: with the proliferation of opportunities for females in sports is a proflagration of knee injuries. Time was, a torn ligament or meniscus meant the end of the line for a female athlete. But with changes in surgery and rehabilitation, even multiple knee injuries can be overcome. Here are some stories of women who have overcome the odds:

* Shea Ralph lost two years of her basketball career due to a cranky right knee. But then she led Connecticut to the 2000 NCAA title.

* Michelle Akers is a heroine to many not only as a soccer player, but as a living testament as how to overcome numerous knee strains and sprains.

* Patti Shea, to this day, does not remember the number of knee operations she had as a member of the U.S. women's field hockey team.

* Lauren Kulp played in exactly three lacrosse games her freshman year before crumpling to the ground. Many thought she might never even walk again. And this was just in high school.

* Before the last two competitive lacrosse games in her life, Dana Latona wanted to remove the heavy leg braces holding together the fragile tissues in her knees. Why? She wanted to feel free again.

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