Battle Of The Sexes: How Men And Women Differ In Orthopedic Injuries

Posted on: 29 July 2015


Plenty of old playground rhymes state that men and women are different enough to have come from different planets, but there are plenty of real-life corollaries to these silly exaggerations -- like in orthopedics. Men and women tend to be proven to different orthopedic injuries -- so how do you know which areas to be most cautious with? If you're wondering which areas of your body you should protect against orthopedic injury the most, then here's what you need to know.

Men Are From Mars...

Male orthopedic injuries aren't as commonly thought about as women's, mostly because conditions like arthritis and osteoporosis tend to be more stereotypically thought of as women's injuries rather men's. However, there are several areas in men that are more prone to injury than in females.

  • Fingers and Hands. Men are more likely than women to fracture their fingers and hands than women, possibly because typical 'male' activities and workout equipment (like weights or ball-related sports) make constant use of the fingers and hands. In order to protect your digits, a sports wrap from your wrist up to you knuckles is a good idea; the wrap will keep everything lined up properly and reduce pinpoint strain on weaker joints in your hand.
  • Muscles and Tendons. Fingers aside, men tend towards muscle or tendon issues more than bone-related orthopedic injuries, including damage to the Achilles tendon. Women's tendons are more flexible, and thus can take the strain of exercise where a man's will simply snap. To protect your muscles and tendons, take at least a quarter hour to stretch before exercising to ease your tendons into use.

...While Women Are From Venus

Meanwhile, women don't need to be so careful about their fingers and hands so much, but have to pay more attention to other areas more easily damaged by the fairer sex. 

  • Knees and Ankles. Women's pelvic bone flares out more to the sides than a man's, and thus the angle between the thigh and the leg bones is much steeper than it is in males. This is one of the reasons that women are more prone to knee- and lower-joint-related injuries (such as a torn ACL or MCL) than men. Cross-training and good tennis shoes will prevent a lot of the damage your knees and ankles could incur during exercise.
  • Bones. Unfortunately, osteoporosis does disproportionately affect women more than men, so bone injuries tend to be a problem among females, especially as you get closer to menopause. In order to strengthen your bones, keep a healthy amount of calcium and Vitamin D in your diet.

For more information on your injury, check out an orthopaedic doctor in your area.