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      Musculoskeletal Disorders in the Elderly

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          Musculoskeletal disorders are among the most common problems affecting the elderly. The resulting loss of mobility and physical independence can be particularly devastating in this population. The aim of this article is to present some of the most frequent musculoskeletal disorders of the elderly, such as fractures, osteoporosis, osteoarthritis, microcrystal disorders, infections, and tumors.

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          Most cited references 70

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          Burden of major musculoskeletal conditions.

          Musculoskeletal conditions are a major burden on individuals, health systems, and social care systems, with indirect costs being predominant. This burden has been recognized by the United Nations and WHO, by endorsing the Bone and Joint Decade 2000-2010. This paper describes the burden of four major musculoskeletal conditions: osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoporosis, and low back pain. Osteoarthritis, which is characterized by loss of joint cartilage that leads to pain and loss of function primarily in the knees and hips, affects 9.6% of men and 18% of women aged > 60 years. Increases in life expectancy and ageing populations are expected to make osteoarthritis the fourth leading cause of disability by the year 2020. Joint replacement surgery, where available, provides effective relief. Rheumatoid arthritis is an inflammatory condition that usually affects multiple joints. It affects 0.3-1.0% of the general population and is more prevalent among women and in developed countries. Persistent inflammation leads to joint destruction, but the disease can be controlled with drugs. The incidence may be on the decline, but the increase in the number of older people in some regions makes it difficult to estimate future prevalence. Osteoporosis, which is characterized by low bone mass and microarchitectural deterioration, is a major risk factor for fractures of the hip, vertebrae, and distal forearm. Hip fracture is the most detrimental fracture, being associated with 20% mortality and 50% permanent loss in function. Low back pain is the most prevalent of musculoskeletal conditions; it affects nearly everyone at some point in time and about 4-33% of the population at any given point. Cultural factors greatly influence the prevalence and prognosis of low back pain.
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            Epidemiology and outcomes of osteoporotic fractures.

            Bone mass declines and the risk of fractures increases as people age, especially as women pass through the menopause. Hip fractures, the most serious outcome of osteoporosis, are becoming more frequent than before because the world's population is ageing and because the frequency of hip fractures is increasing by 1-3% per year in most areas of the world. Rates of hip fracture vary more widely from region to region than does the prevalence of vertebral fractures. Low bone density and previous fractures are risk factors for almost all types of fracture, but each type of fracture also has its own unique risk factors. Prevention of fractures with drugs could potentially be as expensive as medical treatment of fractures. Therefore, epidemiological research should be done and used to identify individuals at high-risk of disabling fractures, thereby allowing careful allocation of expensive treatments to individuals most in need.
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              Prevalence, expenditures, and complications of multiple chronic conditions in the elderly.

              The prevalence, health care expenditures, and hospitalization experiences are important considerations among elderly populations with multiple chronic conditions. A cross-sectional analysis was conducted on a nationally random sample of 1 217 103 Medicare fee-for-service beneficiaries aged 65 and older living in the United States and enrolled in both Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B during 1999. Multiple logistic regression was used to analyze the influence of age, sex, and number of types of chronic conditions on the risk of incurring inpatient hospitalizations for ambulatory care sensitive conditions and hospitalizations with preventable complications among aged Medicare beneficiaries. In 1999, 82% of aged Medicare beneficiaries had 1 or more chronic conditions, and 65% had multiple chronic conditions. Inpatient admissions for ambulatory care sensitive conditions and hospitalizations with preventable complications increased with the number of chronic conditions. For example, Medicare beneficiaries with 4 or more chronic conditions were 99 times more likely than a beneficiary without any chronic conditions to have an admission for an ambulatory care sensitive condition (95% confidence interval, 86-113). Per capita Medicare expenditures increased with the number of types of chronic conditions from $211 among beneficiaries without a chronic condition to $13 973 among beneficiaries with 4 or more types of chronic conditions. The risk of an avoidable inpatient admission or a preventable complication in an inpatient setting increases dramatically with the number of chronic conditions. Better primary care, especially coordination of care, could reduce avoidable hospitalization rates, especially for individuals with multiple chronic conditions.

                Author and article information

                J Clin Imaging Sci
                J Clin Imaging Sci
                Journal of Clinical Imaging Science
                Medknow Publications & Media Pvt Ltd (India )
                28 July 2012
                : 2
                Department of Musculoskeletal Radiology, Centre Hospitalier Régional Universitaire de Lille, Hôpital Roger Salengro, Lille, France
                [1 ]Department of Radiology, Centre Hospitalier de Tourcoing, Tourcoing, France
                Author notes
                Address for correspondence: Dr. Ramon Gheno, Centre de Consultations et d’Imagerie de l’Appareil Locomoteur, 2 Avenue Oscar-Lambret, 59037 Lille Cedex, France. E-mail: rgheno@
                Copyright: © 2012 Gheno R.

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

                Review Article

                Radiology & Imaging

                musculoskeletal diseases, fracture, aged, neoplasm, arthritis


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