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Women need more support after breaking bones than men

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Women do not recover their muscle strength as fast as men after wearing a cast, according to US researchers.

Women are four times more likely than men to experience a broken forearm and require a cast. To examine whether the effects of casting were similar between the sexes, researchers examined ten immobilised volunteers for a period of three weeks.

They found that while men were able to regain 99% of their strength within a week of removing the cast, women’s strength was still 30% lower when compared to before the cast was applied.

These finding, presented this week at the American Physiological Society annual conference in South Carolina, may have implications for the treatment of fractures based on gender lines, say the authors fro the University of Florida.

They said: ‘This finding is preliminary and on a very small sample size, so, we must caution against over-interpreting our work. However, when our findings are examined in the context of existing work of others, they suggest that women may require additional, or more intensive, rehabilitation programs following periods of immobilization or bed rest.’

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