Nowadays it is very common among people who are ageing to have weak bones which render them prone of encountering injury and developing chronic diseases such as arthritis, medical experts say. The common form of arthritis is osteoarthritis, a kind of a very debilitating disease by which pain triggered several hip replacement procedures and is associated with the DePuy-led campaign attacking a British Medical Journal metal-on-metal hip article.
Osteoarthritis is a painful disease which can interfere with a patient's ability to perform routine daily activities, depending on which joints are affected. Early diagnosis and treatment is very important. The goals of osteoarthritis treatment are to relieve pain and other osteoarthritis symptoms, preserve or improve joint function and reduce physical disability.
The American College of Rheumatology (ACR) offers guidelines for the treatment of osteoarthritis, although it emphasizes that treatment decisions ultimately rest with the doctor and patient. ACR guidelines include non-pharmacologic and pharmacologic (i.e., drug) treatment options for osteoarthritis, according to the about.com website.
There are two major factors that affect older people such as an increased risk of falling because of poor stability (from a decrease in muscle, joint, and nerve function) and poor vision; and (2) weak bones that break easily because of osteoporosis.
It has been estimated that 250,000 (a quarter of a million) people in the United States suffer hip fractures each year.
Hip fracture is a terrible injury. It typically requires major surgery for repair. Operations involve either metal pinning with screws and/or plates or replacement of the hip joint with artificial parts. These operations can be complicated by infections, blood clotting, bleeding, and failure of the repair work. After such a surgical procedure, long and aggressive rehabilitation programs are necessary for optimal success. For the very frail, elderly person, ultimate recovery can be extremely difficult and long-term loss of independence, nursing-home placement, and even death may result.
Prevention of hip fractures is a key part of caring for the health of the elderly. Elderly people may take measures to decrease their own risk for hip fractures. These measures include participating in regular, proper exercise, "clearing the runway" in homes for walking and transferring, undergoing regular general and eye-health checkups, and addressing osteoporosis (bone-density exams, calcium and vitamin Dintake, and osteoporosis medications when indicated).
At first, the non-drug treatment should be considered. If satisfactory relief can be achieved using non-drug options, risk associated with medication side effects may be avoided. Non-drug treatment options include the patient's education and self-management programs, weight loss if patient is overweight, physical therapy for range of motion exercise, muscle strengthening, aerobic conditioning, assistive devices taping and bracing. It is best to take all precautionary measures to avoid any kind of severe diseases which lead to surgical procedure such as the hip replacement which has been the subject of several hip recall law.