As we get older, our bodies undergo change and experience certain limitations that weren’t present in our youth. Even when you make a concerted effort to stay physically active and exercise regularly, your body may begin to break down, resulting in a variety of orthopedic problems. As these orthopedic issues develop, you may begin to experience age-related chronic pain and other conditions.
As part of the aging process, your musculoskeletal system begins to experience the following changes that make you more susceptible to orthopedic injuries:
While many of these changes typically begin in your 40s and 50s, everyone experiences this degeneration at a different time. Factors such as genetics, lifestyle, activity level and diet all contribute to the age at which your bones, muscles, tendons and ligaments begin to break down. Once that occurs, you may begin to experience a variety of orthopedic injuries, including:
Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis impacting elderly adults, with over 32.5 million Americans suffering from this condition. Commonly referred to as “wear and tear arthritis,” osteoarthritis develops when your cartilage deteriorates as you age.
You can develop osteoarthritis in just about any joint, but it most commonly occurs in the knees, hips, hands, ankles and spine. Common symptoms include:
The chronic joint pain and loss of flexibility associated with osteoarthritis can make it challenging to perform routine daily activities. While there is no cure for osteoarthritis, there are a variety of orthopedic treatments that can help you manage the condition by reducing pain and increasing range of motion.
Osteoporosis occurs when your loss of bone mass exceeds your ability to produce new bone. This condition results in decreased bone density and low overall bone mass that can make your bones become brittle and weak. Common symptoms include:
Your bone mineral density decreases with age. This, combined with other age-related conditions such as osteoporosis, can cause bones to become weaker and more brittle. In addition, many people develop balance issues and vision problems as they age which increase the likelihood of falls. All of these factors combine to increase your risk of broken bones later in life.
There are several different types of fractures which typically impact people as they age:
Common symptoms of fracturs include swelling, sudden pain, bruising and deformity. Always seek treatment from an orthopedic specialist immediately if you think you’ve broken a bone.
As you get older, your joints often become less stable and are more prone to dislocation. A dislocated joint occurs when the bones connected by a joint shift out of position. Joint dislocations most commonly occur in the shoulders, hips, knees, elbows and fingers. Common symptoms include:
Dislocated joints have very similar symptoms to fractures. Therefore, it’s important to visit an orthopedic specialist at once to ensure you receive the proper diagnosis and treatment.
Lower back problems are some of the most common issues impacting people as they age. Common causes of lower back injuries include:
In most instances, lower back pain is muscle-related and will heal with minimally invasive treatments such as physical therapy. However, if back pain persists for several weeks, you should get examined by an orthopedic spine specialist.
Age-related orthopedic problems can happen to anyone. While Colorado residents are generally some of the more fit, active and healthy people in the country, these issues can still arise due to the natural aging process. If you’ve developed an orthopedic injury or ailment, Colorado Advanced Orthopedics can help you restore a pain free life.
Our team includes some of the finest and most experienced board-certified, fellowship trained orthopedic surgeons on the Western Slope. Our doctors take pride in delivering the exceptional care necessary to help you get back to enjoying your favorite activities as soon as possible.
Each of our orthopedic surgeons possesses a different area of specialization. No matter what condition you’re experiencing, our team has the background necessary to provide the treatment you need. Our doctors utilize the latest techniques and most advanced technology, and this has enabled us to consistently achieve surgical outcomes that exceed industry standards. This level of orthopedic expertise is unmatched anywhere on the Western Slope.
Contact us today to schedule an appointment. Colorado Advanced Orthopedics serves patients in Meeker and throughout the White River Valley.
Subscribe to our monthly publication highlighting Life's Joy and getting back to your life. We feature health tips, being out and about, and bringing joy to daily life.Subscribe