Why Older People Are Prone To Get Serious Injury From Falls And What You Can Do?
- 02 Sep 2022
- #Medanta Blog
- #Medanta Hospital
What is osteoporosis?
Our bones are made of mineral deposits of calcium. However, they are living tissue because they have cells called osteocytes that detect changes in stress and strain and keep reshaping your bone continuously to match. As you keep using the bone, it strengthens the areas where maximum strain occurs. The calcium to do this either comes from your diet or other parts of your bone structure.
The calcium in your bone is like money in your account. It gets replaced as it reduces. If you can not replace money into the account through earnings at the rate at which the money is going, your account balance runs low. When you are younger, more deposition happens and our bones grow and get stronger. As we get older, the deposition of calcium minerals reduces and fails to catch up to its removal. This makes the bones more brittle and breakable, leading to higher chances of fracture and injury. Various other factors like your age and gender may also play a huge role.
Of course, this also means that if you saved up on your bone mass and calcium before 30 years, the chances of developing osteoporosis and its severity are also reduced.
Who is at risk of developing osteoporosis?
It is estimated that about 50% of people develop an osteoporotic fracture in their lifetimes. In fact, it is more common than heart disease. Men and women in the older age group are at risk of getting osteoporosis and related problems like fractures and spinal cord injury. Women after menopause have a higher risk because low levels of estrogen enhance bone loss.
Low levels of testosterone in men and estrogen in women have the effect of reducing bone mass gradually. This is especially true when medication is used for other conditions like prostate cancer or breast cancer that work by reducing the sex hormones. Thyroid hormone in excess or problems with parathyroid or adrenal glands is also known to increase the speed of bone loss.
Calcium deficiency, and Vitamin D deficiency which in turn reduce calcium absorption and severe diet restrictions accelerate bone loss and increase the chances of developing osteoporosis earlier. Other factors that increase the risk of osteoporosis include hysterectomy (removal of uterus & dravies), steroids and some medications, diseases of the bowel, alcoholism, smoking, and a sedentary lifestyle.
What is an osteoporotic fracture?
When a person having osteoporosis develops a fracture from a minor force or non-traumatic causes, it is known as an osteoporotic fracture.
What are the complications of osteoporotic fractures?
What can you do to reduce the risk of injury from fragility fractures in an elderly person?
Fixing the cause for longer-term improvement:
Reducing the impact of falls:
Fractures do not occur in every fall, because in a lot of cases, the person is able to break the impact of the fall, by grabbing onto something or adjusting the angle of the fall. Fractures occur only in 3-6% of older people who fall. It is important to ensure the person is at their best to reduce the impact of a fall. Some factors that help:
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