The Aging Musculoskeletal System

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The Aging Musculoskeletal System The Aging Musculoskeletal System As the body ages many problems can occur. It is important to understand the causes and effects of as many of these processes as possible so that the elderly can continue to live as independant and productive members of society. This paper will discuss three specific occurrences and how they may effect the daily life of an 84 year old thin, small boned white female. With a diagnoses of osteoporosis there is a marked loss of bone density. When a person is relatively young bone is built up faster than it is reabsorbed. (Darbà, Kaskens, Pérez-Álvarez, Palacios, Neyro, & Rejas, (2015). As the body ages this process is reversed and bone is lost faster than it can be re-built. This leads to brittle and easily broken bones especially in the hips and spine which can lead to disabilities and even death. Osteoporosis is most prevalent in white elderly females with slight body frames. (Ross, (2009) Another common musculoskeletal problem common to the elderly is osteoarthritis. This is when the cartilage that cushions the ends of bones in a joint gradually deteriorates until there is bone on bone contact. Eventually osteoarthritis causes joint pain and stiffness and may require surgery to replace the damaged joint. Once again elderly females are more likely to end up with osteoarthritis than males. (Swift,(2012) Muscular atrophy is a third problem common in the elderly. This is simply a loss of muscle mass due to a lack of physical activity. (Evans, (2010) Pain, stiffness, and injury can lead to an inability or unwillingness to perform normal daily chores. As the muscle atrophies it becomes increasingly weaker. This, unfortunately, is very common in the elderly. Our 84 year old female, having been diagnosed with the above ailments, would have to be extremely careful not to fall.

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