While most issues with the musculoskeletal system can happen to both men and women relatively equally, men are treated for various orthopaedic injuries that differ from those that affect women. Being aware of these common injuries will help you to understand them better, thus knowing how to prevent them if possible, and also how to treat them.
Hand and Wrist Fractures
The hand and wrist are used so frequently throughout the day that the slightest pain can be seriously debilitating. Dozens of bones, joints and ligaments work together to allow us to perform functions properly, which leaves a lot of room for injury.
Men are believed to deal with fractures in the hands more than women based on the activities they engage in more frequently. Orthopedists suggest that contact sports such as football are some of the main causes of hand and wrist injuries from tackling and grappling with opponents.
Tools and working around the house also cause injuries to the hand and wrists. These are also seen more widely in men than in women.
Achilles Tendon Tear
The Achilles tendon is the largest tendon in the body, connecting the calf muscle to the ankle bone. This tendon makes it possible for the foot to flex, a necessary function for walking. An Achilles tendon tear is typically very painful and causes pain to the calf and heel. Those affected may experience inability to push off with the injured leg while walking.
This is another orthopaedic injury that’s far more likely in men than it is in women. Dr. Timothy Miller, assistant professor of orthopaedics at Ohio State University says that men are three times as likely to suffer from an achilles tendon tear than women.
Sports like track, football and basketball can all lead to an achilles tendon injury.
Soft Tissue Injuries
The previous injuries are typically caused by sports and other forms of physical activity, but soft tissue injuries can happen at any time for a number of reasons. Of course, they can occur as the result of a physical activity injury but they can also be caused by being worn down over time.
Soft-tissue injuries are prevalent in men working in physical jobs, where movement and heavy lifting is a central aspect of their daily routines. Commonly, slips and falls are the primary culprits for workplace injuries.
Scheuermann’s Kyphosis is a spinal condition that causes wedging of the vertebrae and irregular growth in the spine. It can create an exaggerated, forward-leaning rounding of the upper back or what is referred to as a “hump” in the back.
This condition affects people differently, with some experiencing physical effects without pain
Some people with this condition have a severely rounded back but experience no pain; others have debilitating pain that requires surgery to repair and relieve. Scheuermann’s kyphosis appears most often in pubescent children and in older women with osteoporosis.
Osteoporosis typically affects women more than it affects men, as men have larger bones and skeletons. However, 2 million American men already have osteoporosis, which causes bone thinning that makes bones brittle and porous and likely to fracture. For men, it typically occurs later and progresses more slowly.
The majority of men with osteoporosis have at least one secondary cause. In cases of secondary osteoporosis, the loss of bone mass is caused by certain lifestyle behaviors, diseases, or medications. Some of the most common causes of secondary osteoporosis in men include exposure to glucocorticoid medications, hypogonadism, alcohol abuse, smoking, gastrointestinal disease, hypercalciuria, and immobilization.
Men should speak with their doctor about what they can do to prevent osteoporosis.
If you’re dealing with any type of pain, it’s important to seek help as soon as possible. Men are quick to think they can ‘tough out’ certain pains, when this can end up making their orthopaedic injury much worse. It’s also possible you can be dealing with a condition that needs to be treated right away. Schedule an appointment with Rothman Orthopaedics to get relief today.