Osteoarthritis: A review of musculoskeletal aging and treatment issues in geriatric patients

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Abstract

Musculoskeletal disease is extraordinarily prevalent among geriatric patients, with an incidence that is increasing with the growth of this segment of the population. It is a major cause of disability, dependency, dysmobility, pain, and depression. Rheumatologic evaluation of the geriatric patient provides challenges to the clinician in the proper interpretation of pain, the effect of comorbidities and multiple medications, and the need to consider an interdisciplinary approach that includes the recognition of cognitive deficits, functional evaluations, and treatment of muscle atrophy. Osteoarthritis accounts for 60% to 70% of joint disease in older persons, with pathologic and radiographic findings that are a "background" against which to consider pain and limitation of motion. Therapeutic strategies that incorporate reconditioning, the reduction of load-bearing, and adequate pain control may positively impact quality of life and reduce the potential for falls.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)28-32+35
JournalGeriatrics
Volume59
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2004

Keywords

  • Immunosenescence
  • Musculoskeletal aging
  • Osteoarthritis therapeutic strategies

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