Millions of people break bones every year across the United States. These injuries — also known as fractures — can vary from a thin hairline crack to bone completely broken or even shattered into multiple pieces. In most cases, the severity of the break depends on the amount of force the bone experienced. For example, the pounding of a runner’s feet against the ground can lead to fine hairline breaks, but the impact from a car accident can snap or crush a bone.
Dr. Eric E. Johnson offers expert orthopaedic care in fracture care to people in the Westwood neighborhood of Los Angeles, California. Though you may not be able to prevent all types of broken bones, you can take action to avoid the three most common.
Believe it or not, one of the most common sports injuries involves stress fractures.
Stress fractures develop when you overuse your muscles, which limits their ability to absorb additional shock. In response, the muscles transfer the extra stress to bone, causing tiny cracks — or stress fractures — to form.
More than 50% of stress fractures occur in the lower legs and feet, typically from:
Stress fractures can affect people of all ages, but Dr. Johnson says you can reduce your risks by cross-training, eating a healthy diet, and using proper equipment. It’s also crucial to set incremental goals, especially when you start a new activity. And don’t forget to stop immediately to rest if you experience any pain or swelling.
A leading cause of broken bones involves some sort of trauma. But you may be surprised to learn a major cause of these injuries: falling.
An estimated one in three Americans over 65 falls each year. The result? More than 2.8 million older adults need emergency room care for fall-related injuries, like fractures. But falling doesn’t have to be part of the aging process.
To avoid fall-related injuries, Dr. Johnson recommends:
You should also use mobility aids to help if you have balance problems or muscle weakness, like canes or walkers.
Approximately 54 million Americans have osteoporosis, including half of women 50 and older. This serious problem involves thinning of the bones, which significantly increases the risk of fracture — even from a cough, sneeze, or no activity at all.
Now for the good news. There are ways to keep your bones strong and healthy, and the sooner you start, the better off you’ll be at 50 and beyond. Dr. Johnson says this involves three essential things, including:
Additionally, you can undergo regular bone mineral density tests. These screenings help monitor your bone health, so you can have a personalized plan to better reduce your risk of fractures in the future.
Do you need fracture or orthopaedic care? Contact Eric E. Johnson, MD, to schedule a consultation call 424-309-1492 today.