How sex influences joint contractures

By Carolyn M. Hettrich, MD, MPH, and Jo A. Hannafin, MD, PhD

Why do men get Dupuytren’s contracture and women get adhesive capsulitis?

The myofibroblast is implicated in several superficial (fascial) fibrosing disorders that occur at different ages and are more likely to be found in specific areas of the body depending on the sex of the patient. These conditions have common histopathologic features and are characterized by inflammation, myofibroblast proliferation, and dense scar formation. Men are primarily affected with Dupuytren’s, Ledderhose, and Peyronie’s diseases. Men also have an increased incidence of posttraumatic elbow contracture. Women have a higher incidence of adhesive capsulitis.

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