The Aging Musculoskeletal System

Osteoporosis is a disease of bones that leads to an increased risk of fracture. In osteoporosis, the bone mineral density (BMD) is reduced, bone microarchitecture deteriorates, and the amount and variety of proteins in bones are altered. Osteoporosis can cause severe back pain, hip fracture, and loss of mobility.

It is very damaging to the vertebrae and can lead to needing spinal surgery. Age is an independent risk factor for the development of Osteoporosis and the prevalent rises drastically with age. (Jen Hyashi) Osteoporosis thins the bones and makes them weak and fragile. The effects in the everyday life of a thin white 84-year old woman may be critical. A minor fall can cause a fracture since the bones become so thin and have low bone density.

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Osteoarthritis comes with aging and wearing of the joints. It mostly affects the hips, knees, feet, and hands. Osteoarthritis can cause lots of pain to an 84- year old thin white female. (Arroyo) Her physician office visits and hospitalizations and the burden of the disease is bound to increase. Everyday activities will become harder; she will experience lack of sleep due to pain. It will eventually wear her out and make every day unpleasurable.

Muscular Atrophy

Muscular Atrophy is a decrease in the mass of a muscle. This leads to muscle weakness. An 84-year old thin white female with this disease will be in constant discomfort and is already lacking in muscle because of her age and size and will become weak due to the decrease of muscle mass. She will be unable to perform certain tasks or worsen the risks of accidents while performing normal daily activities such as walking. This disease is common among the elderly.