Both men and women can experience orthopedic health problems, but certain injuries and conditions are more common in women. This may be due to the anatomical differences between men and women, or it could be caused by hormonal factors.
Regardless of the reason, women are undoubtedly more susceptible to some joint, bone, and muscle issues. Here are some of the orthopedic conditions that are most common in women:
Osteoporosis is a progressive bone disease that causes loss of bone density. It is four times more common in women than in men, and it affects around 30 percent of women in the United States. Osteoporosis can be a serious concern because it increases your risk of bone fractures, particularly in the limbs, hips, and spine. The condition is the cause of two million bone fractures every year.
Your ACL, or anterior cruciate ligament, connects your lower leg bone to the bottom of your thigh bone. A torn ACL is a common sports-related injury, particularly for football, soccer, and basketball players. Female athletes have higher rates of ACL tears than male athletes, although doctors aren’t sure why. However, anyone can sustain an ACL injury.
Sprains and tendinitis in the ankles are far more common in women than in men, possibly due to differences in stabilization. Women who regularly wear high heels may be more vulnerable to ankle problems, too.
A frozen shoulder happens when the tissues in and around the shoulder joint stiffen or become inflamed. It’s especially common after surgery or an injury that leaves the shoulder immobilized for a long period of time. Women between the ages of 40 and 60 are the most at risk for frozen shoulder.
Trigger finger is a condition that forms when the tendons in the finger develop nodules. Over time, the finger can become very stiff and difficult to bend or straighten. Sometimes, the tendon gets stuck and then pops out with a snap, which can cause pain and discomfort.
A neuroma is a benign nerve tumor that most often develops in between the third and fourth toes. It can cause the nerve tissue to thicken, which leads to pain, numbness, or tingling. Because women’s feet are narrower than men’s, women are more likely to develop a neuroma. Poorly fitting shoes are often the main cause of the condition as they can put excessive pressure on the toes.
Ganglion cysts are fluid-filled masses that typically form in the base of your finger or in the back of your wrist. Gymnasts and other athletes who frequently apply pressure to the wrist are at a high risk of ganglion cysts. People with arthritis are more likely to develop this condition, too.
Carpometacarpal, or CMC, arthritis is inflammation at the joint where your thumb connects to your wrist. Arthritis can affect virtually any joint in your body, but the CMC joint is one of the most common places for women to experience joint pain. Estrogen may play a role in arthritis because the hormone causes laxity in the joints, which may explain why the condition affects women more than men.
These eight orthopedic conditions are more common in women, but they can affect anyone. Bone, joint, and tendon problems are often very painful and can lead to limited mobility and difficulty completing daily tasks. If you think you may have an orthopedic problem, don’t hesitate to contact OrthoNOW. These conditions are manageable with medical intervention, and seeing an orthopedic expert is the first step toward improving your health.
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