People who are over 65 are more likely to dislocate a joint, partly because they are more likely to fall—a common cause of dislocations. Older people are more likely to fall for the following reasons:
Other injuries tend to accompany a dislocation more often in older people. For example, a shoulder dislocation is more likely to cause a torn rotator cuff in older people than in younger people.
In older people, recovery is often more complicated and slower than it is in younger people because
Even minor injuries can greatly interfere with older people’s ability to do normal daily activities, such as eating, dressing, bathing, and even walking, especially if they used a walker before the injury.
Immobilization: Being immobilized (for example, when bed rest is necessary) is a particular problem in older people.
In older people, being immobilized is more likely to cause
Pressure sores develop when blood flow to an area is cut off or greatly reduced. In older people, blood flow to a limb may already be reduced. When the weight of an injured limb rests on a cast, blood flow is reduced even more, and pressure sores may form. If bed rest is required, pressure sores can develop on areas of skin that touch the bed. These areas should be diligently inspected for any sign that the skin is breaking down.
Because immobilization is more likely to cause problems in older people, treatment of dislocations and other musculoskeletal injuries focuses on helping older people return to daily activities as quickly as possible.