HappyAging met Dr. Jadhav to learn about the common orthopedic problems in Indian older adults.
We asked him what are the common bone conditions for which elderly patients seek medical assistance. Dr. Jadhav says older adults usually visit for pain in the knee, back and shoulders. The symptoms start early, but due to ignorance, they develop into trouble while walking, numbness and lack of strength in legs.
Talking about orthopedic problems in women, he says that the age group that’s affected is 40-48 years and they usually complain of knee pain. The reason behind the pain is mostly calcium and vitamin D deficiency, age-related hormonal changes and body weight changes, the pressure of which comes on the knee, resulting in pain.
Another common condition in women post their menopause is osteoporosis. The signs of osteoporosis are pain in back, knee, neck and arms, fatigue and inability to stand for long. As menopause comes with a multitude of hormonal changes in a woman’s body, some may also experience, irritation, tiredness and sweating. All these problems are treatable. The treatment includes:
- Diet changes
- Medicines – Supplements
Not treating the condition may increase the risk of fractures. Dr. Jadhav suggests that these problems can be prevented by abiding to a good diet, rich in calcium and vitamin D.
Osteoporosis is also common in elderly males and it’s only a myth that men don’t have osteoporosis.
About increasing deficiency of calcium and vitamin D in Indians, Dr. Nikhil Jadhav says that the more we prevent ourselves from sun exposure, the more the deficiencies are going to increase, resulting in bone conditions.
Dr. Jadhav advises that after crossing 35 all must go for annual check-ups for heart, diabetes and osteoporosis. For osteoporosis, the common tests would include:
- Calcium phosphorous
- Alkaline phosphatase
- Vitamin D
- BMD (Advanced)
- Dexa-scan (Advanced)
There are a lot of advanced treatments available osteoporosis, specific for different conditions.
Talking about the falls in elderly, Dr. Jadhav says that they are common and usually are responsible for the maximum number of fractures in elderly. These fractures, however, can be avoided by offering the elderly a surrounding that is designed as per their needs. He stresses on the importance of elder-friendly architectures including ramps, railings, anti-slip matting, staircases, etc.