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Serving the Rapidly Evolving Field of Women's Sports

In This Video

  • Women's sports medicine is rapidly evolving as women's participation in all sports at every level of competition grows exponentially
  • According to research by Miho Tanaka, MD, wrestling and ice hockey are the two sports where the percentage of female participation is currently seeing the most growth
  • As athletes age and their participation in sport continues, it's imperative that patient education and treatment consider this maturing population

In this video, Miho Tanaka, MD, orthopedic surgeon and director of the Women's Sports Medicine Program in the Department of Orthopaedics at Massachusetts General Hospital, discusses the ways in which women's sports medicine is changing, both in terms of the number, age and types of athlete-patients, as well as the ways in which they participate in sport. According to Dr. Tanaka, as the patient population changes, so must the clinical approach.


With regards to women's sports medicine and what we should all know about female athletes, for those of who are taking care of them, is that the field is rapidly evolving. We know that after title IX there were 10-fold increases in the number of female leads but this change is continuing to happen.

We know that it's not just the number of female athletes that we see that's changing, the types of female athletes that are playing sports are different as well. In one of our recent studies, we found that the fastest-growing percentage of females in sports were wrestling and ice hockey. So these are areas that haven't really been studied with regards to women and their injury rates within these sports, and I think it's our responsibility to be able to keep up with them as women are breaking barriers in sports and on the field for us to be able to know about these conditions and keep up with what they are doing, and to be able to provide the appropriate treatment for them.

I think that being able to address the needs of maturing athletes, both in men and women actually, is becoming an increasing issue, especially in women. We are seeing that more and more women are continuing to stay active later in life and being able to not just treat those women but educate them on the front end especially with regards to injury prevention is also an important part of this program as well.

Learn more about the Women's Sports Medicine Program

Refer a patient to the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery

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In this video, Miho J. Tanaka, MD, orthopedic surgeon and director of the Women's Sports Medicine Program in the Department of Orthopaedics at Massachusetts General Hospital, discusses the interrelated clinical, research and educational missions of this important program.


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