Fractures occur in elderly people because of skeletal fragility. Appendicular fractures are usually precipitated by a fall. Falls account for 90% of hip fractures, and the risk of falling increases with age.
Why are fractures more common in the elderly than in younger adults?
Due to the physiologic changes of aging as well as common comorbidities, older adults are at high risk for fractures. Difficulties with gait, vision, and proprioception (due to neuropathy or medications) contribute to falls. Household hazards such as throw rugs and lintels can contribute to falls.
What is the most common fracture in elderly?
Falls account for nearly 75% of all geriatric trauma, and are the most common cause of fractures in older people. Most falls occur from standing height or less, resulting in fragility fractures in older adults who often have multiple comorbidities and functional impairments.
What happens to bones as we age?
People lose bone mass or density as they age, especially women after menopause. The bones lose calcium and other minerals. Between each bone is a gel-like cushion (called a disk). With aging, the middle of the body (trunk) becomes shorter as the disks gradually lose fluid and become thinner.
Why do fractures take longer to heal in the elderly?
When an older adult suffers a bone fracture, the body directs more resources toward the break, but the bone itself is already involved in a losing cycle of bone removal and replacement, with more bone being removed than being replaced.
Why do older people break bones?
Osteoporosis, or porous bone, is the leading cause of geriatric fractures. This disease gradually affects the density and quality of bone over time, weakening the skeletal system and increasing the risk of fracture. This can make osteoporotic fractures particularly dangerous for seniors over the age of 50.
Why do old people get fractures?
Most fractures in older people are caused by the combination of weak bones (such as from osteoporosis) and a fall. As you get older, your bones get weaker from natural bone tissue changes. After menopause, the decline in the female hormone estrogen also makes your bones thinner.
How do falls affect the elderly?
Falls in turn diminish function by causing injury, activity limitations, fear of falling, and loss of mobility. Most injuries in the elderly are the result of falls; fractures of the hip, forearm, humerus, and pelvis usually result from the combined effect of falls and osteoporosis.
Where is the most likely site of a fracture from a fall in the elderly?
For seniors, fractures are the most serious consequence of falls (short of death). The most common bones to fracture in falls are: The hip, femur (thigh bone), pelvis, and vertebrae (spine);
Which bone is most likely to break?
The collarbone, otherwise known as the clavicle, is the most commonly broken bone, thanks in large part to where it’s positioned. Located between the shoulder blade and upper ribcage, it attaches the arm to the rest of the body.
What happens during aging?
What’s happening With age, your skin thins and becomes less elastic and more fragile, and fatty tissue just below the skin decreases. You might notice that you bruise more easily. Decreased production of natural oils might make your skin drier. Wrinkles, age spots and small growths called skin tags are more common.
Do bones shrink with age?
As your bones settle in together, you lose a few millimeters at a time. It is normal to shrink by about one inch as you age. If you shrink more than an inch, a more serious health condition may be to blame.
Do bones expand with age?
You can now blame your bones. Most people don’t grow any taller after the age of 20, but a recent study published in the Journal of Orthopaedic Research found evidence that the pelvis — the hip bones — continues to widen in both men and women up to about age 80, long after skeletal growth is supposed to have stopped.
How can the elderly prevent fractures?
Steps to prevent fragile bones
- Consume adequate amounts of calcium and vitamin D (see “Recommended Calcium and Vitamin D Intake” chart).
- Exercise several times a week.
- Ask your doctor about a bone mineral density test.
- Ask about medications to slow bone loss and reduce fracture risk.
Why do some people’s bones break easier than others?
Also known as “brittle bone disease,” osteogenesis imperfecta (OI) is a genetic disorder that causes weak bones that break easily in addition to other symptoms. There are several forms of OI, and although there is no cure, the symptoms of OI can be managed with a healthy lifestyle, medication, or surgery.
Do bones take longer to heal when you are older?
The current study is based on the observation in human patients that stem cell number in the bone marrow significantly declines with increasing age, and that fractures take longer to heal as the stem cell number drops.