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Tulane Medical Center
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Tulane Lakeside
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Active Women: Conditions and Injuries

With the increased involvement of women in sports and recreational activities, the number of sports-related injuries has also been increasing. Women are at higher risk than men for certain injuries including ACL tears, patellofemoral (knee joint) pain syndrome and stress fractures.

Participating in sports and maintaining an active lifestyle has numerous benefits, including preventing disease (such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes), increased bone density and muscle mass and increased confidence and mobility. Injuries occasionally result from playing sports – however, the benefits far outweigh the risks.

-Mary Mulcahey, MD, Director, Women’s Sports Medicine, Tulane Institute of Sports Medicine.

Women may have different symptoms, since injuries can affect them in different ways. Our specialists are familiar with these injuries and conditions in women and girls, and know how to treat them.

At Tulane, we provide a multidisciplinary approach to the care of active women, including orthopaedic sports medicine, primary care sports medicine, sports nutrition, sports psychology and physical therapy. Our goal is to provide comprehensive care to active women of all ages and abilities. We’ll work with you to create a treatment plan that fits your needs and your life, and you’ll have access to all the services and resources you need for a full recovery.

Here are some of the most frequent sports injuries and conditions we treat:

  • Achilles tendinitis (Inflammation in a tendon in the heel)
  • Achilles tendon rupture
  • Plantar fasciitis (Inflammation of the ligament that connects your heel to your toes)
  • Ankle sprain, fracture or dislocation
  • Shin splint (pain along the inner edge of the shin bone)
  • Exertional compartment syndrome (muscle and nerve condition causing pain and swelling in muscles, most commonly in the lower leg)
  • Jones fracture (in the base of the fifth metatarsal in the foot)
  • Lisfranc injury (one or more of the metatarsal bones in the foot displaced from the tarsus)
  • Syndesmosis injury (injury to a ligament that connects two bones in the upper ankle)
  • Dancer’s tendonitis (injury to the flexor hallucis longus tendon in the ankle)
  • Avulsion fracture (a piece of bone is torn away from the main bone)

Concussion, a type of brain injury, is a risk in most sports. Repeated concussions can lead to long-term effects for men and women.

(energy deficiency with or without disordered eating, menstrual dysfunction or amenorrhea, and bone density loss, or osteoporosis)

  • Distal biceps tendon rupture (biceps muscle to the elbow is torn from the bone)
  • Elbow dislocation
  • Hyperextended elbow
  • Olecranon bursitis (extra fluid and swelling in the back of the elbow)
  • Tennis elbow (damage to the tendons that attach on the outside of the elbow and help extend the wrist)
  • Wrist fracture
  • Ulnar collateral ligament sprains and tears (in the thumb, wrist and elbow)
  • Avascular necrosis of the femoral head (blood loss to the “ball” portion of the ball and socket hip joint)
  • Groin strain
  • Hamstring (muscle in your upper thigh) strain
  • Hip pointer contusion (bruise to one of the bones in the pelvis)
  • Quadriceps (group of muscles on the front of your thigh) strain
  • Quadriceps contusion (injury to the front of the thigh)
  • Iliotibial band tendonitis (tissue running from the pelvis to the outside of the knee)
  • Trochanteric bursitis (inflammation of the fluid-filled sac at the outside point of the hip)
  • Piriformis syndrome (neuromuscular disorder related to the sciatic nerve)
  • Hip labral (rim of soft tissue that surrounds the hip socket) tear
  • Hip impingement (abnormal and wearing contact between the ball and socket of the hip joint)
  • Iliopsoas (muscle in front of the hip) strain
  • Myositis ossificans (abnormal bone formation within deep muscle tissue)
  • Meralgia paresthetica (numbness, tingling, and burning pain in your outer thigh)
  • Osteoarthritis (inflammation and wearing of a joint)
  • Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) sprain/tear
  • Medial collateral ligament (MCL) sprain/tear
  • Meniscal injury (damage to a cartilage structure between the two bones [femur and tibia] in the knee)
  • Osgood Schlatter's disease (inflammation in the area just below the knee)
  • Patellar tendinitis (inflammation of the tendon that connects your kneecap to your shinbone)
  • Patellofemoral dysfunction (pain in the front of your knee, around your kneecap)
  • Patellar (kneecap) dislocation
  • Cartilage injury
  • Knee dislocation
  • Patellar tendon rupture
  • Quadriceps tendon rupture
Decreased bone density and tiny cracks in bones.
  • Patellofemoral pain syndrome (pain at the front of the knee)
  • Patellar tendinitis (inflammation of the tendon that connects your shin bone to your knee bone)
  • Lateral epicondylitis (tennis elbow)
  • Iliotibial (IT) band (inflammation of the tendon that runs down the outside of the thigh from the hip to the knee)
  • Acromioclavicular (AC) separation (shoulder separation)
  • Adhesive capsulitis (shoulder stiffness)
  • Avascular necrosis of the proximal humerus (loss of blood to the “ball” portion of the ball and socket shoulder joint)
  • Biceps tendinitis
  • Rotator cuff (muscles and tendons that surround your shoulder joint) strain, tear or tendinitis
  • Shoulder dislocation or instability
  • Sternoclavicular (SC) joint (connection of the breast bone to the collar bone) dislocation
  • Superior labral (ring of firm tissue around the shoulder socket) tear
  • Swimmer’s shoulder
  • Shoulder impingement
  • Shoulder fractures
  • Spondylolysis (crack or stress fracture develops through the pars interarticularis, a small, thin portion of the vertebra)
  • Posterior element overuse syndrome (affects the facet joints in the vertebrae)
  • Sacroiliac joint (a joint in the back of the pelvis) pain
  • Vertebral body avulsion fracture (fracture of a vertebrae)
  • Disc herniation (problem with one of the rubbery cushions between the vertebrae)