Women and the orthopaedic surgeon: Changing the relationship

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date



Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research






Women are disproportionately disabled by musculoskeletal conditions. For biologic and lifestyle reasons, musculoskeletal health is one of the areas of medicine in which the differences between men and women are most marked. Thus, an approach tailored to women, not just an approach based on what has worked for men, often is needed. How orthopaedists treat women will become an even more pressing issue in the years ahead. Demographic trends predict that the majority of senior citizens will be women in whom chronic conditions frequently involve a musculoskeletal problem. Even at earlier ages, women will present more frequently with musculoskeletal conditions because they participate in a broader range of sports and careers. The current study presents a lengthy list of action items that the orthopaedic surgeon should consider as he or she approaches the treatment of women. Many of these items involve anticipating musculoskeletal problems, and convincing patients to take appropriate preventive steps. Because so many patients are treated by physicians who are not orthopaedists for their musculoskeletal problems, a successful preventative approach presents orthopaedists with the opportunity to win the confidence and respect of a new generation of patients.

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