Published: Nov. 11, 2010
Updated: Nov. 11, 2010
Geriatric bone fractures, or bone breaks in older adults, are linked to loss of bone mass due to aging and osteoporosis.
Bone fractures are often related to loss of bone mass, which is an expected part of aging. When bones lose their density, they become fragile and more prone to fracture.
This bone loss is commonly linked to osteoporosis, a treatable, preventable condition that leads to brittle bones.
When bones are weak, it does not take a high-impact fall or injury to create a fracture. Often, low-impact injuries cause just as much damage to the bone.
Symptoms of broken bones include:
A physical exam of the affected area will be performed, with focus on pain and possible deformity. X-rays typically confirm if the injury is a fracture.
Your doctor will prescribe pain medicine to manage pain symptoms.
Initial treatment for fractures of the arms, legs, hands and feet include splinting the extremity in the position it is found, elevation and ice. Immobilization is very helpful with initial pain control. Broken legs and arms are often treated with a cast.
Depending on the location and severity of the break, surgery may be recommended.
Your doctor may test your bone density to confirm that you have osteoporosis. If osteoporosis is confirmed, your doctor will discuss what steps can be taken to prevent further bone loss and fracture. Often those with osteoporosis are prescribed with dietary supplements, which help slow bone loss and maintain bone mass.