The primary cause of broken bones in seniors is accidental falls. In fact more than 2.5 million seniors need to seek emergency room treatment every year for a fall-related injury. And, according to the CDC, 20 percent of senior falls result in serious injuries such as broken bones.
As the Bloomfield Hills area’s top hand doctors, we have treated many seniors who have suffered broken wrists as a result of a fall. In this article we discuss how to help prevent wrist injuries in seniors.
Cause of Senior Wrist Injuries
Unfortunately, it is a natural reflex when taking a tumble to try and “break” one’s fall with an outstretched hand. And when the hand or arm bear the brunt of a fall, the delicate bones in the wrist can easily fracture or “break”.
But scientists and hand doctors have recently begun to study the most important question: what causes seniors to fall in the first place? The answer may surprise you.
While poorer eyesight, or less muscle strength may play a part, gerontology researchers have identified the factor that leads to the vast majority of elderly wrist fractures as poor balance. A recent study published doctors from the Washington University School of Medicine in the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, have determined that decreased balance in senior citizens is what leads to most falls.
In that study, senior citizens who had suffered a wrist fracture sometime after age 65 were compared to a control group that had not sustained a broken wrist. The researchers found that seniors who had sustain a wrist fracture at some point had much poorer balance compared than those who had never had a wrist fracture.
Preventing Senior Wrist Injuries
That study uncovered the fact that most seniors with weak balance were not being evaluated or given tools to help balance and stability. Startlingly, less than 10% of the seniors who had fallen received any recommendations from their treating physicians for balance training and physical therapy.
The end recommendation from that study was that seniors should be evaluated and given treatment for balance deficiencies in order to prevent all types of breaks resulting from falls.
Without being given the resources for improving balance and stability, people over age 65 will continue to be more susceptible to falling – and suffering broken bones.
Top Bloomfield Hills Hand Doctor
If you are suffering from an injury or pain in your fingers, wrist, elbow or arm, contact board certified Bloomfield Hills hand doctor, Dr. Rehman for a comprehensive evaluation and consultation. As with most medical conditions, early detectionand treatment – and a good a prevention plan – is the most effective way to combat twrist fractures – especiallty in senior citizens.
Doctor Rehman will assess your individual situation, and prescribe the treatments that are best for your condition.