Your healthcare needs continually evolve throughout your life, and many of these changes are the direct result of your age. Children, young adults, middle-aged adults and seniors all have unique healthcare concerns, including orthopedic issues. At Southern Hills Hospital, we provide high-quality care for patients in every stage of life. Our orthopedic surgeons welcome the active involvement of our patients in their own medical treatment.
Changes of an aging body
Many orthopedic problems can affect a person of any age, such as broken bones. However, the musculoskeletal systems of older adults do go through certain changes that can predispose them to injuries. For instance, the cartilage can deteriorate, bones can lose density, intervertebral discs can become less flexible and joint range of motion can be restricted.
Considerations of functional age
Age isn’t solely a byproduct of the calendar. Orthopedic surgeons may consider a patient’s functional age when putting together a treatment and rehab plan. Functional age may influence the likely health outcome.
Functional age is an assessment of the patient’s physical capacities. For instance, a 70-year-old man who is physically active, eats well and doesn’t smoke could have a functional age that is comparable to someone much younger. Similarly, a 40-year-old man with diabetes, who leads a sedentary lifestyle and uses tobacco could have a much older functional age.
Pathways for post-discharge care
Many orthopedic injuries and diseases require a long-term plan for physical rehabilitation. A patient’s post-discharge support needs can be influenced by age.
For an active teenager with a broken bone, a significant challenge might be to convince the teen to follow activity restrictions. On the other hand, when a senior breaks a bone, he or she may need some convincing to go to physical therapy sessions.
Orthopedic surgeons will consider physical and logistical challenges in addition to emotional and behavioral ones. For instance, older adults recovering from a broken hip need extensive support at home, especially during the initial recovery. If this is lacking, then a referral to a long-term care facility may be necessary.
The highly trained orthopedic surgeons at Southern Hills Hospital continually strive for healthcare excellence to give patients of every age the best possible outcome. At our hospital in Las Vegas, you’ll receive attentive care that is designed around your needs. Call (702) 916-5023 to request a referral to an orthopedic surgeon.