As people age, they don’t only get wiser – they also become more prone to fractures from common accidents such as falls. Based on statistics, 1 out of 3 adults (aged 65 and up) falls each year in the United States. The bad news is, most of these accidents could be fatal. As a matter of fact, 8,000 accidents were fatal to American seniors in 1995.

What are the common fractures for seniors?

In most cases, the patient is subject to hospital admission due to trauma. The older the age, the higher the likelihood of hospitalization. Accidents such as falls cause fractures, especially in the high-risk areas of the body such as the following:

  • Hip – Hip fracture is a common type of fragility fracture and is often associated with the highest mortality among seniors. Apart from falls, older adults who have low vitamin K and vitamin D levels are also at risk.
  • Thighbone – Fracture in this area is typically sustained in high-impact trauma, such as dangerous falls or car crashes.  Damage occurs to the thigh bone once a large amount of force hits it.
  • Pelvic bone – This happens when a strong force breaks the bony structure of the pelvis. Typical causes are falls, pedestrian accidents, motor vehicle collisions, or a vehicle crash injury.
  • Spine – Spine fracture is also known as a broken back. Immediate, high-impact trauma normally brings spinal cord injury.
  • Upper arm bone – This usually results from a fall when an arm is outstretched.
  • Forearm – This can affect one or two of the forearm bones. Aside from falls, a direct force from an object causes this fracture.
  • Hand – Hand fracture occurs when one of the bones in the hand breaks, usually caused by a fall, twisting injury, crush injury, or collision in sports.
  • Leg/ankle bones – This is typically brought about by falls, sports injuries, and motor vehicle accidents.

Are all fractures equal?

While some fractures do cause severe occurrences such as permanent disability and death, others may not be fatal and the patient can fully recover by means of physical therapy.

What factors increase the likelihood of getting fractures?

Senior citizens who experience the following are at a higher risk of getting fractures caused by accidents:

  • Eye problems such as cataracts and myopia
  • Joint and muscle issues such as arthritis
  • Nervous system disorders such as sciatica
  • Lack of balance and gait such as Parkinson’s disease
  • Sleepiness, usually brought about by medication

How can fractures be prevented?

Fractures don’t have to happen in the first place. Here are some measures you can help an elderly do to prevent accidents right before they happen.

  1. Engage in physical activity to improve mobility, flexibility, and strength.
  2. Limit sleep-inducing medicines especially during the daytime, if possible.
  3. Seek appropriate treatment for medical conditions such as those stated above.
  4. Install safety modifications like metal handles, maintain good lighting, and clear all possible obstacles around the residential area.

Seniors are at a higher risk of getting fractures. But with proper care and supervision, our beloved elderlies can live a longer, fracture-free life.

What To Do

For those who have had a fracture and need rehabilitation, look to Strides Maplewood in Sauk City WI.  Our physical therapy and occupational therapy department can help you to return to normal life.

Sources:

https://www.reliasmedia.com/articles/118940-fractures-in-older-adults
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1839833/
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1126451/