3 Reasons Your Elderly Loved One Should Visit an Orthopedic Doctor

Orthopedic DoctorMaintaining independence and a good quality of life are common concerns for senior citizens and no one is better qualified to help than an orthopedic doctor. Orthopedics is the medical specialty most focused on diagnosing, treating and preventing musculoskeletal diseases and injury for men and women, including the elderly. Here are three important reasons to make sure your elderly loved one keeps regular appointments with his or her orthopedic doctor.

1. For Diagnosis and Treatment of Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common joint disease, affecting nearly 30 million people in the US. The disease is partly due to wear and tear damage to joints and naturally affects the elderly most seriously. In fact, nearly half of us will develop OA of the knee at some point in our lives. The lifetime rate of OA in the hip is also quite high, with a quarter of the population at risk. 

2. To Prevent and Treat Hip Fractures

Preventing falls is crucial because fractures are all too common among older people, who often have other chronic health problems. “Hip fractures kill,” warns a recent AAOS (American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons) article, illustrating the seriousness of the issue. Dr. Erika Mitchell points out that the mortality rate can quadruple when, for instance, the patient develops pneumonia after the hip injury. Regular exams by orthopedic doctors can help prevent hip fractures by catching balance problems or diagnosing osteoporosis (brittle bone disease) early when treatment is most effective.

3. To Maintain Physical Strength and Independence

Orthopedic doctors can help their elderly patients to delay and minimize the effects of aging on their bodies and lives. Doctors monitor the progress of ongoing problems like arthritis and adjust treatment, helping patients stay active. Regular visits to the orthopedic surgeon also help senior family members understand which aches, pains and injuries are serious problems and which can be treated symptomatically.

Helping elderly relatives stay healthy, strong, mobile and independent is easy when you have an expert on your side. Make sure that the seniors in your family continue to visit their orthopedic surgeon throughout their lives. 

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