Elderly Care: Common Orthopedic Conditions and How to Prevent It

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More than 37 million people live in Canada, and 2.6 million of that population is from Toronto: Ontario’s capital. 

By 2046, Ontario’s Ministry of Finance is forecasting a sharp increase in the population of people over 65 years old. But before that, the city is already seeing an increase in the senior population. 

In fact, since 2016, the city already saw a higher senior population share compared to children aging somewhere within zero to 14 years old. This means that the city should take proactive steps to intensify healthcare benefits for its senior community members.

One of the health conditions that will require more attention is orthopedic injuries. You see, while orthopedic shoes can alleviate some conditions, good care will require a more focused senior healthcare system. 

According to a provider of orthopedic shoes in North York, the increasing numbers of orthopedic injuries among the elderly are caused by both biological changes that come with age and the rapidly-increasing aging population. 

In addition to regular orthopedic doctor visits, these elderly individuals need effective treatment for a range of conditions. So, just what are these common elderly orthopedic conditions, and how can we prevent or treat them? 

Osteoarthritis

In 2019 data, the Centers for Disease and Controls Prevention (CDC) said that one in every four older adults suffers from osteoarthritis. This is a degenerative condition that usually affects the spine, knees, ankles, fingers, and hands. 

If you suffer from this condition, it can be quite challenging to perform daily activities, especially those that need fine motor skills, significant movement, or flexibility. 

It’s unfortunate that (as of now) there’s no known cure for osteoarthritis. If you or an elderly family member has this condition, the best way to treat it is through a consultation with an orthopedic specialist. 

With a professional diagnosis, you can be prescribed treatments to allow you to increase your motion range and decrease pain. 

Fractures 

This is a serious condition that’s been keeping the elderly population worried. You see, as one gets older, the density of bone minerals drops. This condition is particularly common among women who are in the post-menopausal stage. 

Older adults who experience lower mineral levels are more brittle and weaker bones. If you add this to the older adult’s susceptibility to vision problems and balance issues, you now have a higher risk of bone fractures. 

To improve bone strength, it’s best to engage in strength training exercises. These exercises can significantly lessen the likelihood of experiencing a bone fracture. 

Joint dislocations 

When joints are dislocated, the bones making up such joints will shift from their original position. Older adults with dislocated joints can feel immediate pain. This pain will decrease only after a physician helps put the joints back in their rightful place. 

After that, it’s necessary to schedule follow-ups with an orthopedic specialist to make sure that the healing process proceeds according to the medical plan. In most cases, a dislocated joint will require patients to remain immobilized for a period of four weeks or more to guarantee optimal results. 

Osteoporosis

Our bone mass reaches its peak when we reach 30 years old. After that, it will slowly decrease with age. Because of this, the older adult population is at an enhanced risk of osteoporosis. This includes lower overall bone mass and equally lower bone density

Though the body naturally creates new cells as the old bone tissues break down, there are instances wherein the body cannot cope up with the accelerated bone loss. As a result, bones become weak and brittle. Your orthopedic doctors can suggest treatments that will slow down your bone loss rate to prevent further injuries. 

If you or your elderly loved one is currently suffering from any of the conditions above, it’s best to bring them to an orthopedic doctor immediately. 

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