Osteoporotic fractures: Cause of concern during the Pandemic.

July 27, 2021 5:40 PM

These injuries need to be addressed immediately and treated to prevent devastating complications of Deep vein thrombosis (Clots developing in the legs, migrating to the lung causing severe respiratory problems and death) and bed Sores apart from the deep psychological impact of being bedridden.

The Covid pandemic is far from over. However, we need to find ways of getting our injuries treated effectively inspite of the pandemic. (Representative image)

By Dr. Lokesh Veerappa,

A 78yrs old lady doing her daily chores, fell in her bathroom and could not get up or walk after that. She called out to her son who promptly lifted her to put her on her bed. She had excruciating pain in her hip. She had not gone out of the house for about a year now, due to the fear of COVID 19. The family was reluctant to take her to a hospital due to the same apprehension. They waited for a couple of days giving her paracetamol, but when the pain became intolerable, they opted for a video consultation. The Consulting doctor looking at the shortened and rotated limb diagnosed a possible fracture in the hip region. She was immediately shifted to the hospital and fracture fixation was done.

“This is a story of one odd patient who knew how to reach out to an Orthopaedic Doctor on video consultation. However, many patients do not get treated on time and end up with several complications.” says, Dr. Lokesh Veerappa, Senior consultant Orthopaedic and Joint Replacement Surgeon, at Manipal Hospitals, Bangalore He says, “We are now frequently doing video consultations and detecting fractures especially in the elderly. The Elderly population who have been home bound for over a year now are developing various fractures from very trivial injuries due to weak bones (Osteoporosis) due to old age compounded by factors like lack of physical activity and sun exposure”.

He said, “Fractures of the hip region, spine and wrist area are among the most common fractures seen in the elderly population due to Osteoporosis. We do see fractures in other areas too, but the above three variety of fractures constitute more than 80% of all fractures in the elderly. The fear of getting exposed to COvid has left these patients ignore their injuries resulting in various complications like deformity, nonunion, malunion, Chronic pain and inability to function normally in many instances.”

Dr. Lokesh opines, “These injuries need to be addressed immediately and treated to prevent devastating complications of Deep vein thrombosis (Clots developing in the legs, migrating to the lung causing severe respiratory problems and death) and bed Sores apart from the deep psychological impact of being bedridden. We are regularly treating these injuries in our hospital and making patients mobile early to get on with their lives. We urge that they come to the hospital in case they suspect such injuries. They can infact come to the Outpatient Department directly if they have fear of going into the Emergency Room where many Covid Patients would be present awaiting admission. They can also avail video consultation services so that the doctor can diagnose the problem and guide you accordingly”.

The Covid pandemic is far from over. However, we need to find ways of getting our injuries treated effectively inspite of the pandemic.

(The author is Senior consultant Orthopaedic and Joint Replacement Surgeon, Manipal Hospitals, Old Airport Road, Bangalore. The article is for informational purposes only. Please consult health experts and medical professionals before starting any therapy or medication. Views expressed are personal and do not reflect the official position or policy of the Financial Express Online.)

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