Trauma and degeneration are principal causative factors for orthopedic
problems in the elderly. Along with limiting mobility, these problems
are also associated with pain and discomfort. Osteoporosis is a major
cause of most orthopedic disorders in the elderly, since it causes the
bones to become fragile, increasing the risk of fractures with even slight
falls. Even though these problems, being age-related, cannot be prevented,
their onset can be delayed through certain precautionary measures.
Orthopedic surgeons at OrthoTexas, advise immediate diagnosis at the first sign of joint discomfort.
Osteoporosis is a disease of the skeletal system, in which the bone mass/
density decreases, and the micro-architecture of the bone tissue deteriorates,
leading to increased fragility in the bo
nes. The decrease in the levels of the hormone estrogen in postmenopausal
women is believed to be associated with the high risk of developing this
disease in women after 50. The disease is classified as a “metabolic
bone disease”, in which there is an imbalance between the resorption
and formation of the bone tissue. The result is the creation of fragile
spots in the bone structure, which are usually responsible for injury-related
orthopedic problems like hip fractures in the elderly.
The quality of life in elderly patients suffering from orthopedic problems
is usually affected, with the increased disability caused by these problems
leading to deterioration in physical and mental health. Orthopedic doctors
at OrthoTexas have a special program designed for elderly patients with
orthopedic problems, in which the treatment plan includes
rehabilitation and counseling, along with the administration of medicines. The focus
of such a plan lies on encouraging the patient to keep trying to improve
their physical condition and to restore independence to the highest degree possible.
Osteoarthritis is another disorder commonly affecting elderly patients.
This disease results from arthrosis in the joints and vertebral column,
which in turn is caused by age-related degener
ation. This disorder is associated with significant pain, along with restricted
motion and deformity. Even though this disease can affect any synovial
joint in the body, the most commonly affected joints are the knees, hand,
feet, spine, and hips.
The orthopedic treatment of any joint disorder in the elderly must be
structured while taking the risk factor of age into account. Surgery is
usually not a practical option in most elderly patients. Focus should
rather be laid on improving the quality of life of the patient through
exercise, and other lifestyle modifications like weight loss.