There are 206 bones in the adult human body, down from the 270 we are born with, which then fuse to form our final shapes by age 30. These bones have 206 unique purposes, as they carry us through life. Unfortunately, bone health quickly deteriorates among the elderly population, leaving the 35 percent of elderly people who fall every year in a precarious position. It is no wonder the orthopedic rehabilitation is so prominent and necessary in this slice of the American population!
However, the best way to prevent falls among the elderly is exercise, regardless if the person is 65 years old or 90 years old. Lack of physical activity is one of the main causes of falls, along with dizziness or weakness as a side effect of medication, and tripping hazards around the home. Orthopedic rehabilitation specialists and doctors recommend even mild exercise for at least 30 minutes every day in order to reduce elderly falling risk.
Bone problems can affect nearly anyone, not only the elderly. Of the 43 million Americans struggling with joint inflammation, more than half of Americans affected by arthritis are younger than 65 years old, and that number is poised to hit 60 million people in the U.S. by 2020. More than 63 percent of injuries sustained in the United States are to the musculoskeletal system, costing approximately $254 billion each year in this country alone. Still, the elderly population is the target group for musculoskeletal issues and need of orthopedic rehabilitation.
Arthritis can be painful and prohibitive, but the real danger facing the elderly in America is the hip fracture. Each year, approximately 200,000 adults in the U.S. older than 65 years old will fracture a hip, and they are more common among women than men. Hip fractures are seen in 1 percent of women over the age of 75. At first glance, this does not appear to be dire, until you understand that a person who has fractured his or her hip has a 20 to 30 percent chance of dying within a year of the fall.
To protect your elderly loved one from falling, secure all rugs in their home or room, and install night-lights to prevent tripping. If the elderly person lives in his or her own home, install railings close to the shower and toilet, and include some sort of emergency notification, even if it is just a phone nearby. Regardless of the steps taken to mitigate the risk of falling, it is important to remember that it is crucial to undergo orthopedic rehabilitation after a fall or surgery to have the best post-treatment results.