Orthopaedic Problems in Senior Citizens: Diagnosis and Treatment Options

Posted On Oct 06, 2022

Department of Orthopaedics

Manipal Hospitals

Orthopaedic treatment in Kharadi

Orthopaedic problems in older adults are widespread—more than 50% of people over 65 experience orthopaedic pain. While most conditions are not life-threatening, they require treatment so they do not worsen. This article discusses senior citizens' most common orthopaedic issues, symptoms, and treatments. Senior citizens' most common orthopaedic problems include osteoporosis, fractures, osteoarthritis, and dislocations. Connect with the best orthopaedists in Kharadi at Manipal Hospitals for the treatment of orthopaedic problems. Some commonly observed orthopaedic problems reported by senior citizens are: 


Osteoporosis is a disease that causes the bones to become weak and more likely to break. It is widespread among older people because they have less muscle mass and their bones lose calcium over the years. Doctors often recommend weight-bearing exercises like walking or jogging to help strengthen the muscles around the hips and legs. 

The weight-bearing exercises may also help prevent falls due to decreased balance as you age. People with osteoporosis should also wear protective gear when participating in activities with a high risk of injury from falling onto hard ground surfaces such as concrete or asphalt.


A common condition of arthritis in senior citizens, osteoarthritis, causes gradual cartilage degeneration. Cartilage is a tough, smooth tissue that cushions and protects bones at joints. When you move, this cartilage helps reduce friction between your bones and provides a shock-absorbing effect while allowing movement.

When osteoarthritis develops, the articular (joint) cartilage loses its cushioning function, so bones rub together instead of gliding smoothly over each other as they should, leading to pain and stiffness in affected joints. Book an appointment at our Orthopedic hospital in Kharadi for the best treatment facilities.


Fractures are a common problem among senior citizens. Fractures result from falls, sports injuries and motor vehicle accidents. There are many different types of fractures:

  • Closed fracture

The bone breaks through the skin but does not break apart into two or more pieces. Closed fractures usually heal on their own with rest, medication and therapy. The doctor may have to remove parts of bone or metal before this happens, though!

  • Open fracture

The bone breaks through the skin and enters an open wound; it may also split into two or more pieces that cannot be put back together without surgery (this is called an unstable fracture). Open fractures require immediate surgery, so you don't lose too much blood from your injury. 


Another problem that affects the joints of older adults is dislocation. Dislocations are joints forced out of their normal position, either by a blow to the body or twisting the joint. Dislocations can cause severe pain and swelling, and sometimes even bone damage. Most dislocations do not require surgery if treated within 24 hours, but they should still be seen in an emergency room as soon as possible.

Diagnosis of Orthopedic Problems in Senior Citizens

The following tests diagnose orthopaedic problems in senior citizens:

  • X-rays

An x-ray is a form of radiation that allows us to see inside the body without making a cut. X-rays are used in medicine to diagnose many conditions, including broken bones. 

  • CT scans

CT scans are a type of x-ray that uses an electron beam and computer processing to generate cross-sectional images of body parts.

  • MRI scans

MRI uses radio waves to create images of organs or other structures inside your body. MRI doesn't hurt, and it's safe for everyone, including senior citizens.

  • Bone density test

Bone density tests measure the amount and quality of bone in your skeleton and your risk for fractures. They can help determine whether treatment is necessary to avoid broken bones in the future.

  • Physical examination

An orthopaedic specialist's detailed analysis of the patient's joints, muscles, and bones and a review of their medical history. An orthopaedic doctor may also need blood tests to check for arthritis-related conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis or lupus.

Treatments of Orthopedic Problems in Senior Citizens

  • Medicines

An orthopaedic doctor may prescribe drugs to treat your condition.

  • Physical Therapy

Physical therapy includes exercises that strengthen and stretch muscles, help restore normal joint motion and alignment and improve mobility and balance. A physical therapist also trains to use assistive devices such as canes or walkers for support when walking around.

  • Surgery

Doctors consider surgery when other treatments have failed to provide relief from pain or restore function in an injured area of the body. Surgery treats fractures that do not heal properly on their own within six weeks after injury, dislocation injuries where the bones don't fall into place naturally and narrowing spinal disks.

Lifestyle Changes For A Better Orthopaedic Health

As senior citizens age, their bones can become more brittle, leading to various orthopaedic health issues. Fortunately, some lifestyle changes can help prevent these issues from occurring.

  • Walk More

Regular exercise is one of the best things you can do to maintain healthy bones and joints as you age. Even thirty minutes of walking every day or other aerobic activity can help keep your bones strong and flexible.

  • Diet Rich In Calcium, Vitamin D, Proteins And Other Nutrients

It is essential to ensure enough calcium in your diet for bone health. Vitamin D helps promote calcium absorption in your body, and proteins are necessary for bone and muscle health.

  • Regular Checkups

Ensure regular checkups with your doctor so they can monitor any changes in your bone health over time and recommend any additional steps you may need to take for optimal bone health as an older adult.

The treatment of orthopaedic problems in senior citizens is a challenging area for healthcare professionals. Orthopaedic conditions are more common among older people, and these individuals may have additional comorbidities that could complicate treatment. 

Manipal Hospitals offer world-class orthopaedic facilities in Pune for senior citizens. Ensure your loved ones receive the proper treatment through early diagnosis and regular checkups at Manipal Hospitals, Kharadi, the best orthopaedic hospital for senior citizens in Pune. Read more such informative blogs by top medical experts.

Department of Orthopaedics

Manipal Hospitals, Kharadi, Pune

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