A fracture is any break in the bone, caused due to force applied to the bone more than it can withstand. The chances of getting a fracture are high in older people. People over 85 have a four-fold higher risk of a fracture than those between 65-75 years of age
Elderly people are most likely to suffer fractures of the:
Arm, elbow, or wrist
Leg, knee, or ankle
Why are the elderly prone to fractures?
The natural weakening of bones with age
Osteoporosis in the elderly, particularly in women, making bones brittle
Dizziness due to some medications, loss of balance, slower reflexes, and vision problems in old age
Physical inactivity due to other medical conditions in old age can weaken the joints
What are the symptoms of a fracture?
Swelling and redness of the affected area
Difficulty in moving the affected part or joint
How are fractures diagnosed?
CT or MRI scans
How are fractures treated?
Treatment can vary depending on the type of fracture
Splints, casts, or traction devices
Physiotherapy and exercises to regain strength
Why are fractures in the elderly dangerous?
Fractures can have a severe impact on the lives of elderly people as the recovery process is often slow in old age. The effects may include:
Reduced mobility and inability to carry out daily activities independently
Require long-term care
How to prevent fractures?
It is a known fact that as we grow old, our bones become weak and make us prone to falls and fractures, a reason why elderly people are at risk of suffering from fractures too often. Bone health deteriorates with age and older people are more prone to health conditions. here are simple steps suggested to minimize fracture in the elderly.
Adequate calcium and vitamin D
Regular exercise and physical activity
Avoid excessive smoking and alcohol consumption
Follow basic steps while at home like- Installing safety devices at home to prevent falls while moving quickly from a sitting to a standing position
Using a cane or walking stick if you don’t feel steady while walking
Regular medical checkups
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