Why Injuries to Seniors Should Always Be Evaluated by a Doctor
While a fall might not be enough to slow a young athlete, it can be a health-altering setback for a senior citizen. With aging, recovery and rehabilitation become increasingly complex and timely priorities. Because trauma in elderly patients can reveal underlying conditions and prompt significant symptoms, it’s essential for senior injuries, both major and minor, to be assessed by a doctor.
Determining the Cause
Injury is often the result of an accident. Sometimes, however, an accident is the result of an underlying condition. For example, if a senior patient is overcome with dizziness and falls, he or she may have become faint from dehydration, pneumonia, or the symptoms of an infection. By uncovering the cause of an incident that caused injury, specialists can correct the condition to minimize or prevent future occurrences. The first evaluations that specialists may recommend post-injury include:
- An order of blood panels including CBC, organ function, and vitamin levels
- A review of the patient’s current prescription regiment
- A blood pressure reading
- A vision and hearing test
Understanding the Consequences
Many injuries require wound care for visible trauma; however, the effects of an injury aren’t always visible. Internal trauma can range from a small fracture to a complete ligament tear, which is why a physician must perform a clinical evaluation to either clear or confirm the results of a traumatic incident. By neglecting to seek medical attention, even subtle injury can progress to irreparability.
Likewise, for more pronounced injuries in which a patient feels immediate and intense discomfort, clinical care is necessary. Without prompt and professional evaluation, an injured senior patient could experience prolonged pain that is increasingly difficult to remedy.
Developing the Treatment Plan
Skin, bones, and general health weaken with age. Given the heightened fragility of an elder patient’s health, recovery and rehabilitation is often complex. However, senior patients that wait to seek medical attention for an injury may require even more intricate treatment plans. Depending on the severity of an injury, specialists could recommend conservative modes of care that include rest and medication.
For ailments that cause serious setbacks in senior patients, specialists may consider a rehabilitative treatment plan involving physical therapy or surgical intervention. While they are designing a plan to remedy the patient’s overall health, other members of a clinical team will work to determine at-home adjustments to prevent future injury.
Senior Orthopaedic Injury Specialists
After a serious incident or even a slight injury, you can count on the orthopaedic injury specialists at Orthopaedic Associates of St. Augustine. The primary goals of our physicians, therapists, and surgeons are to help patients return to their normal, active lifestyle. So that we can meet our goal of reuniting patients with a mobile and pain-free routine, we offer cutting-edge surgical and therapeutic services. To schedule an appointment, fill out our online request form or call 904-825-0540.
JAMES GRIMES, MD
Board Certifications in Orthopaedic Surgery and Sports Medicine. Dr. Grimes specializes in sports medicine and reconstruction of the shoulder, hip and knee.