Compression Fracture Treatment for Elderly
Treatment for compression fractures is not particularly the same for everyone. It is the bad back pain that grows with time. Surgery is the cure for this pain because bed rest will only delay the inevitable. Let’s take a look at compression fracture in detail.
Compression fractures are a type of bone fracture that occurs when a bone compresses or collapses, most commonly in the spine. Osteoporosis, a disease that weakens and brittles the bones, is a common cause of this fracture in the elderly.
Extreme pain from a fracture can impede daily activities and has the potential to hasten the patient’s death, especially in an elderly patient with diminished reserves. Compression fractures of the vertebrae cost the United States an estimated $746 million in direct medical expenses yearly.
This condition becomes more common with age, reaching 40% prevalence in women aged 80 and up. There is a high risk of further fractures and morbidity.
When the fracture is severe enough, surgery may be required to repair it and avoid further spine damage. Because compression fractures are more common in the elderly, they must work with their doctor to develop a treatment plan specific to their needs. Analgesics, bed rest, and bone-strengthening medications are commonly used to treat compression fractures in the elderly.
As the article is (Compression Fracture Treatment Elderly), we will elaborate on the treatment and management procedure for healing the fracture and stopping it from moving to other bones.
What is a Compression Fracture?
A compression fracture is one type of vertebral fracture. The vertebrae are individual backbones stacked on each other to form the spinal column. The vertebral collapse caused by a compression fracture can cause the spine to shorten. The spinal cord and nerves may be compressed if bone fragments are released during the collapse.
This usually affects the front vertebrae but not the back, resulting in a hunched posture. For the elderly, this can be a very painful and debilitating condition. Compression fractures in the elderly frequently necessitate pain medication, bracing, and physical therapy to heal properly. Bone fractures frequently necessitate surgical intervention.
Osteoporosis-related compression fractures may be symptomatic. Other than that, they are frequently discovered during routine spine x-rays. Medical professionals say compression fractures affect one in every four women over 50. These symptoms are more common in postmenopausal women. A compression fracture has occurred in more than 45 percent of the over-80 population.
A compression fracture can occur when there is too much pressure on the vertebral body. This is typical of a posture in which the subject is forced to bend forward and descend. When a bone fractures, a wedge-shaped depression forms.
Vertebral fragments may protrude into the spinal canal in severe compression fractures, putting strain on the spinal cord. A vertebral compression fracture occurs when a vertebral bone breaks and collapses. Thoracic (middle) spine fractures are relatively common, particularly those affecting the lower vertebrae.
Symptoms of a Compression Fracture
Compression fractures can happen quickly. It usually happens because of stress on the spine in older age. It could be due to weightlifting, spinal pressure, or an old-age hunch. Other causes of compression fractures include trauma, such as a fall or car accident, and tumors that grow in the spine and put pressure on the vertebrae.
Healthy back vertebrae can flex to absorb shock, and most bones can withstand significant force. If the vertebrae are subjected to too much force, they can fracture. Compression fractures are common in the elderly, and osteoporosis is a leading cause of these breaks.
Compression fracture symptoms include back or neck pain that worsens with activity but improves with rest, loss of height, or altered posture. Muscle spasms, standing or walking becoming painful or impossible, facial numbness, or tingling are some of the alerting symptoms of compression fractures.
- Back pain
- Under pressure, vertebrae can crack, which is directly related to the back, where compression fractures cause back pain, height loss, and a hunched posture. Compression fractures can occur in single or multiple vertebrae. They cause pain in the lower and middle back. Back/neck pain is unlikely. 66% of vertebral fractures go undiagnosed and untreated each year or misdiagnosed with arthritis.
- Hunched posture
- When the upper spine is hunched forward, it’s a big symptom, so a doctor should be consulted. The vertebrae can crack and affect the spinal cord’s upper vertebrae, leading to pain moving from the lower to the upper back.
- Limited mobility
- It is best to reduce the activity level to avoid any further pain. If not treated, excessive movement will hurt and affect other vertebrae strings from lower to upper, affecting overall movement. In short, the affected area may be difficult to move or feel weak, making normal activities difficult.
- Nerve damage symptoms
- When the bones are damaged, pieces of bone can press on the spinal cord and nerves, reducing the amount of blood and oxygen that reaches the spinal cord.
- Problems with bladder and bowel control
- These are rare symptoms and mostly occur when the body is more fragile due to pain. The contraction presses the muscles that press the bladder and bowel, making it difficult for the person to control.
What Causes Compression Fractures?
The most common answer is old age, but there are many reasons behind compression fractures. As we age, our vertebrae lose height and become narrower. Reduced bone density increases the likelihood of fractures in patients with osteoporosis.
Fractures are more common in more fragile bones. Compression fractures are uncommon in young people with no history of trauma (such as a car accident) or cancer. The vertebrae of the spine are particularly vulnerable to cancer’s effects, as the disease can spread there and eventually weaken and break them.
Those who have been assaulted are five times more likely to be assaulted again. For patients under the age of 55, metastatic tumors should be considered as a possible cause. Women are more likely to suffer from osteoporosis-related compression fractures after menopause. Nonetheless, osteoporosis and compression fractures affect men as they age.
Aside from bone fragility, activities like lifting a heavy object or falling can increase pressure on the vertebrae and result in compression fractures of the spine. Other more incidental causes are spinal cord injury and spinal nerve damage.
Compression Fracture Treatment
Surgical intervention is usually not required for spinal compression fractures. A fractured vertebra can heal regardless of the patient’s age, severity, or other health issues. Physical therapy should be postponed following a spine compression fracture to reduce stress on the fractured bone. Low-impact exercises such as walking and tai-chi can increase blood flow to the fracture site and hasten recovery.
The first step in treating a compression fracture is speaking with the patient about their desired outcome, the risks and benefits of conservative treatment, and the alternative of percutaneous vertebral augmentation. On average, a patient who chooses conventional treatment has a greater than 50% chance of achieving adequate pain relief within three months. Let’s see the following compression fracture treatment:
- Bedrest is the most common and first cure for compression fractures as it heals the bones naturally.
- Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs are most recommended because they are muscle relaxers and can be addictive. According to research, healing rates for compression fractures are stratified by NSAID selectivity.
- Often an external back brace is used to keep fractured vertebrae from moving. A back brace’s rigid design may alleviate pain by restricting back and spine movement. Excessive use of lumbar supports may cause muscle atrophy and weakness.
- Muscle relaxants
- While analgesics will not speed up the recovery, they may help in staying mobile while recovering. Muscle relaxants like Valium aid bone retention and can alleviate fracture-related pain.
- Bisphosphonates are a class of medications that can help slow bone loss. They help to prevent spine and hip fractures. Bisphosphonates have a low incidence of side effects.
- This treatment effectively stabilizes and relieves the pain caused by spinal compression fractures. Low-viscosity cement is directly injected under high pressure into the collapsed vertebral body to stabilize the fracture and relieve the associated back pain.
- Kyphoplasty, like vertebroplasty, can correct the bone deformity caused by spinal compression fractures while relieving pain. It stabilizes the bone and restores some or all of the vertebral body height lost due to a compression fracture.
- Physical therapy
- The patient must immediately begin physical therapy when a spine compression fracture occurs. Surgery is rarely required to treat a compression fracture. Keeping the abdominal and lower-body muscles active promotes recovery. When deciding on a specialty, physical therapists should consider orthopedics or geriatrics.
How Should the Elderly Manage a Compression Fracture
Women and the elderly are more likely to suffer from compression fractures. Compression fractures affect approximately one-fourth of postmenopausal women in the United States. Pain from a more severe fracture can be incapacitating and potentially fatal in the elderly, whose reserves are already depleted.
Prolonged inactivity is risky and should be avoided. The elderly must follow a doctor’s treatment plan to help manage the injury and prevent further fractures.
This may include:
- Rest: It is important to rest and avoid activities that could put additional pressure on the fractured bone.
- Pain management: Depending on the doctor’s recommendation, one can take pain medication to help manage the pain associated with the fracture.
- Physical therapy: Physical therapy may be recommended to help strengthen the muscles around the spine and improve mobility.
- Bracing: Following the doctor’s recommendation wearing a brace to help support the spine and reduce pressure on the fractured bone might heal the compression fracture.
- Diet and nutrition: Eating a healthy diet rich in calcium and vitamin D can help improve bone health and reduce the risk of future fractures.
Why is At Home Care Vital for Seniors with Compression Fractures
Compression fractures are a delicate matter, especially for seniors. They must be handled delicately. From earlier, we understand that most people from age 55 to 80 suffer from this problem, and it is mostly natural, so it has to be handled by professionals.
At Home Care is equipped with state-of-the-art machinery, qualified professionals, and years of experience so we can take care of your body and make it heal faster.
It is tough for older people to take care of themselves; as much as we appreciate that work keeps the body warm and keep you moving, we also care that your body needs to be in perfect condition to do all the work you enjoy.
We take care of your family as our family. So, kids don’t have to be worried about their parents, and they can relax and be at peace because we always stay with our family and nurture them with our care, so you stay healthy.
Our caretaking consists of the following:
- Light housekeeping
- Medication reminders
- Physical therapy help
- Reduce the risk of additional injury
- Help with adequate nutrition
Try Out Home Care Right at Home Services Today!
Osteoporosis is the most common cause of compression fractures. Pain increases with age have a disproportionately negative impact on the elderly. Because of the risks of spinal fusion, surgical intervention is only used in extreme cases. Movement is restricted because the normal gliding motion of the two vertebrae is no longer possible.
Home Care Right At Home stands for their practice and treatment. They take care of everything right from the beginning to total body healing. They are well trained and educated and have proven results as a company.
Safety is our first concern, so we follow strict instructions to align with our patients and keep them healthy while assisting so they can heal their bodies.
No other services take care of their patient on a personal level and individually plan out their day so that they are renourished and only focused on healing.
Home Care Right At Home has a more consistent and continuous level of care, as the same caregivers can provide care regularly.
If you care about your own, you won’t delay calling us on 475-222-1717
Visit us at: https://homecarerightathome.com/