The Effect Of Parkinson's Disease On Orthopedic Issues
Parkinson's disease–a progressive neuromuscular disorder–can increase the risk of experiencing orthopedic issues, especially as you age. Body rigidity, tremors, balance problems, and slowed movement can lead to instability and loss of bone density–both factors that can increase your risk of falling and breaking bones. Consequently, it's important to be aware of the potential orthopedic problems to which Parkinson's disease can contribute, putting you at greater risk of bone fractures and osteoarthritis (degenerative arthritis) than individuals who don't have the disease.
Risk of Bone Fracture
If you walk less because of mobility problems and don't get outdoors much, getting less sunlight can cause a decrease in vitamin D–a nutrient your body needs to absorb calcium and maintain strong bones. Low bone density leads to weak bones that can break easily. Therefore, if you are at risk of osteoporosis, your physician may recommend a bone density test (DEXA scan) of the hip and spine and preventive treatment if the exam shows low bone density, especially if you have other risk factors.
Factors that can increase your risk of osteoporosis include:
Joint Abnormalities and Spinal Deformities
Individuals with Parkinson's disease often suffer bone, joint, and postural disorders that can make any existing disability due to the disease worse. Although joint pain, stooped posture, bone fractures, and osteoporosis often are treatable conditions, the treatment options vary. Depending on the severity of your symptoms, your doctor may refer you to an orthopedic specialist, such as those at Milford Hospital, who may recommend physical therapy, medications, or surgery.
Spinal deformities, such as degenerative scoliosis, which is characterized by stooped posture, is commonly associated with Parkinson's disease. Muscle and joint stiffness, and poor trunk coordination are other symptoms of Parkinson's disease that affect gait and the ability to transfer from a sitting to a standing position. Although spinal surgery is a treatment option for some spinal deformities, if you have Parkinson's disease, you are at greater risk of complications after surgery.
Delayed Surgical Recovery
If you have surgery to treat an orthopedic condition, Parkinson's disease may inhibit your recovery. The lower bone mass and impaired body movement people with Parkinson's disease generally experience can interfere with bone repair. Even if orthopedic surgery, such as a joint replacement or bone fracture repair, helps to relieve pain, improvement in your mobility may not be lasting as the disease progresses.
Whether or not you have surgery, your doctor may recommend treatments that include supportive therapies such as nutrition and weight-bearing exercise to build bone mass, occupational therapy to learn different ways to complete tasks and maintain independence, and physical therapy to improve your balance and gait to reduce the risk of falls and bone fractures.Share
10 November 2016
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