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Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Men's Bones vs. Women's Bones

Men are from Mars, and women are from Venus so the saying goes. And now research suggests that how a man's and woman's body reacts to injury or illness may be quite different, particularly for orthopedic injuries.

A recent report in the June issue of Journal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons analyzed several studies on the difference between male and female orthopedic issues. Here are a few highlights:

  • Men are more vulnerable to fractures in fingers and hands.
  • Women suffer more fractures or sprains to ankles and feet, likely due to high-heeled shoes.
  • These soft-tissue injuries are more common in men, such as tears to the Achilles tendon, distal biceps, quadriceps and pectoral tendons. 
  • Men suffer Achilles tendon tears about three times as often as women. 
  • Women are more susceptible to hip fractures from osteoporosis, but men with osteoporosis who have hip fractures are more apt to suffer serious complications. 
  • Although osteoporosis strikes men and women, it is generally perceived to be a women's disease and often goes overlooked in men.
  • Women are at higher risk for Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) tears than men, especially when playing certain sports. This may be due to reproductive hormones affecting joint looseness as well as anatomical differences in pelvis width, leg alignment, and knee articulation. 
  • Following an ACL tear, women are less likely than men to return to a sport and are at greater risk of injuring the opposite knee/ACL in the future. 
The results are interesting. We're already seeing gender-specific guidance on ACL injuries and other injuries and expect to see more with additional comprehensive studies.  

(Courtesy of U.S. News & World Report - Health).

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