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Gender Differences In Bone And Joint Conditions

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There are important differences between men and women when it comes to bone and joint conditions, according to a study in the latest issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.

The researchers pointed out that women tend to have a higher incidence of osteoporosis-related hip fractures, yet they have a lower rate of mortality than men with the same fracture. Doctors don´t always recognise or treat osteoporosis in men as often as in women, they said.

The study, ‘Male and Female Differences Matter in Musculoskeletal Disease´, also highlights other differences between how common musculoskeletal disorders manifest themselves in males versus females. For example:

  • Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries are 2-8 times more common in females.
  • Female athletes are 5-8 times more likely than males to suffer an ACL injury in sports like football and basketball that require sudden changes of motion.
  • Ankle sprains are twice as common in females.
  • Osteoarthritis of the knee is more common in females.
  • Metacarpal and phalangeal (finger) fractures are more common in males.


Recognition of the differences between men and women´s burden of disease and response to treatment can contribute to better care of individual patients, the researchers said.

“Knowing that there are differences in incidences and presentation between males and females is an important part of diagnosing and treating patients,” explained lead study author Dr. Jennifer Moriatis Wolf, an orthopaedic surgeon. “Identifying both similarities and differences will allow healthcare providers to deliver better care to every orthopaedic patient.”