What is Geriatric Orthopaedics?
Geriatric orthopaedics is a discipline of medicine that focuses on using orthopaedic principles and approaches to help old people with bone and muscle problems. The normal process of ageing causes people’s bodies to weaken and become more susceptible to orthopaedic conditions. Other factors, such as our youth’s lifestyle choices and underlying disorders, may also play a role in the development of orthopaedic conditions. As a result, geriatric orthopaedics aims to improve senior health by preventing and treating age-related orthopaedic conditions
Elderly people are more susceptible to bone fractures, osteoporosis, arthritis, and other skeletal issues due to their weakened bones, decreased mobility, a slower metabolism, and weaker muscles. This is why we should be considerate when caring for the elderly. Aside from providing necessary medical care, we also pay close attention to their mental health and well-being.
Common conditions in geriatrics orthopaedics
Fracture is very common among the elderly, this is due to their bones getting weaker and more brittle. Here are some of the common conditions that can trigger a fracture:
The most prevalent bone disease is osteoporosis, which is caused by bone weakening. Osteoporosis, sometimes known as a “silent illness,” can go unnoticed until a senior fractures a bone. Regular calcium and vitamin D consumption can help prevent osteoporosis.
Other prevalent illnesses in the elderly include rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis develops when the cartilage at the ends of the bones wears away, limiting bone mobility. Rheumatoid arthritis is caused by joint inflammation and, like osteoarthritis, may be excruciatingly painful.
How do we handle patients with geriatric orthopaedic conditions?
Treatments and rehabilitation programmes vary according to the type of geriatric condition the patient is facing. However, it should also be noted that the elderly might be more emotional, sensitive and fragile when it comes to their health. They are also dealing with limited mobility and may find it hard to adapt to treatments and rehabilitation. Due to this reason, handling elderly patients should be done with utmost care and priority. As much as their emotions can get in the way of their recovery, it is vital to always be mindful of the elders’ needs when they are undergoing treatment.