Orthopedics and women's health
Dennis Armstrong, MD, orthopedic and reconstructive joint surgeon at Banner Baywood Medical Center.
Question: Is there an orthopedic component to women's health?
Answer: Absolutely, it extends from injuries to osteoporosis, to joint replacement.
There has been a dramatic increase in women participating in sports activities, both professional and non-professional. As a result, the need for Sports Medicine Orthopaedists has increased for the female athlete. Symptoms of pain, swelling and injury of joints in the athlete may indicate the need for orthopaedic treatment and management. Evaulation of these symptoms frequently includes the need for scans, MRIs, etc; and may require surgical intervention, such as fracture repair, ligament reconstruction as well as prolonged rehab.
Osteoporosis, predominately seen in the post-menopausal female, continues to be a major medical issue. We need to continue to educate our population in regards to prevention, detection, and treatment of osteoporosis. Although hormone changes in midlife is the major factor in osteoporosis, multiple factors including diet, metabolism, activity, genetics and smoking influence this disease. Unfortunately, this worsens with life and increases the risks of multiple fractures, including hip fractures in our female population.
Joint replacement, now common in mutiple major and small joints, plays a major role in women's health. As life spans increase, sports injuries increase, and inflammatory arthritis continues to be prevalent, the need for joint replacement increases. The purpose of joint replacement is to allow a more normal activity level, including:
- doubles tennis
As technology improves, joint replacement is no longer for "seniors only" but is seen more commonly in mid to late mid-life. The goal is to allow the resumption of most activities comfortably.
In summary, Orthopaedics is now longer influential in women's health care only because of osteoporosis and hip fractures, but is necessary in most aspects of female musculoskeletal health issues.