As the body ages, it changes — sometimes in a positive way, and sometimes in a negative way. The best way to stay ahead of the game is to be aware of what some of the common injuries are and learn how to prevent them altogether.

50 Most Common Injuries for Older People

General wear and tear of the muscles and bones, as well as cognitive deterioration, can make people over the age of 50 more vulnerable to injuries. Some of the most common injuries found in people over 50 are:

  1. Meniscus tear: Constant pain in the knee can be the result of a meniscus tear, which is caused simply by the tissue being worn out and overused.
  2. Torn cartilage: Like the meniscus tear, a torn cartilage is the result of aged tissue that is prone to tearing as one gets older.
  3. Falls: Injuries from trips and falls are extremely common in older adults and can be as minor as a bruise or as serious as a dislocated hip.
  4. Burns: Mobility and cognitive issues are known to increase the chances of burns in people as they get older.
  5. Hip fracture: One of the most common injuries for people 50 years and older are hip fractures. They can become more dangerous as you get older, so it’s best to avoid this injury altogether than have to treat it.
  6. Blood clots: Being immobile, either by choice or by circumstance, can result in blood clots, especially in the legs and lungs. Blood clots are also one of the potential complications of a hip injury.
  7. Bedsores: Like blood clots, immobility is likely to be the cause of bedsores, particularly after a grueling surgery that requires a long period of convalescence.
  8. Fractured wrist: Thanks to weakened bones due to bone illnesses like osteoporosis, the chance of a bone fracture increases with age. Wrist fractures are common after falls in which you used your wrist or hand to brace yourself.
  9. Sprained wrist: Similar to a fracture, but not as serious, is a sprain, often caused because the muscles and tissues in our hands tend to become less flexible as we age.
  10. Fractured rib: One of the most common types of bone breaks in people over 50, a fractured rib, can be the result of falling, coughing too hard or even golfing.
  11. Subdural hematoma: This type of hematoma occurs after a head injury that causes a blood vessel to burst and blood to pool on the brain.
  12. Epidural hematoma: When the burst blood vessel leads to blood pooling between the skull and the membrane around the brain, it’s an epidural hematoma, and is considered to be a traumatic brain injury.
  13. Subungual hematoma: Another type of blood pooling, this time between nail beds and the nail. A subungual hematoma is usually the result of an injury and can occur in the fingers and the toes.
  14. Pelvic fracture: Because our bones weaken as we get older, they’re less likely to be able to withstand collisions, like car accidents or certain falls, making a pelvic injury common for people over 50. It’s also an injury that can be fatal, thanks to the fact that the pelvic bones are near many organs and blood vessels.
  15. Clavicle fracture: Over time, the collarbone weakens from general wear and tear, making it susceptible to injury.
  16. Adhesive capsulitis: If you don’t move your arm or shoulder for a while, it can become “frozen,” causing pain and stiffness in the joint.
  17. Rotator cuff injury: When the tendons around the shoulder joint — the rotator cuff — are torn or strained, the resulting injury can leave you with limited motion and a lot of pain. The chances of this injury only increase as the body ages.
  18. Shoulder bursitis: Bursae are fluid-filled sacks that cushion our bones and, as we age, they start to deteriorate. The bursae around the shoulder are more prone to injury, making shoulder bursitis more common for people over 50.
  19. Hip bursitis: The bursae in the hip also become weaker and prone to injury as the body ages.
  20. Hip labral tear: Age makes the tissues around the socket and ball of the hip tighten up, making it more vulnerable to tears.
  21. Joint dislocation: With the tissue around joints deteriorating, the chances of dislocation increases, especially in joints that are used often, like knees and elbows.
  22. Gluteus medius tear: Lack of elasticity increases the change of tearing this back muscle that helps control movements away from the body.
  23. Hip subluxation: A disjoint of the hip, a hip subluxation can occur as a result of an accident, and it is more likely in older people who have had a hip replacement.
  24. Tennis elbow: You don’t have to be a regular tennis player to experience tennis elbow, which is a type of tendinitis that impacts the outer side of the elbow
  25. Golfer’s elbow: Similar to the tennis elbow, a golfer’s elbow affects the inner elbow and is caused by repetition motions.
  26. Subacromial impingement: When the muscles stabilizing the rotator cuff fail, the four muscles that aid in lifting the arms can’t do their job.
  27. Intracranial hemorrhage: When a blood vessel bursts and continues to bleed — rather than pooling, like during a hematoma — it’s a hemorrhage. When the burst blood vessel is in the brain, it can be extremely dangerous.
  28. Traumatic brain injury: Any time you head received an impact, there is a chance of a traumatic brain injury. The type of injury can vary based on how hard the head was hit, what symptoms the patient is showing and how when the symptoms appear. Trips and falls are the biggest cause of this type of injury in people over 50.

  1. Skull fracture: As the name suggests, this injury results in a break in the cranium, which can be fatal if any bone fragments penetrate the brain.
  2. Overuse of Achilles tendon: While staying active is great for overall health no matter your age, too much of a good thing can be troublesome. Any muscle or tendon that is overused will wear out, and the Achilles tendon is more at risk of wearing out.
  3. Polytrauma: Multiple injuries can negatively affect each other and become fatal. With our bodies weakening as they age, the risk of polytrauma increases the older we get.
  4. Vertebral fracture: The symptoms of this injury can be mistaken for symptoms of aging, but it should be treated straight away.
  5. Fractured ankle: With regular wear and tear, the ankle weakens and becomes prone to fractures, which can be even more dangerous when coupled with other illnesses, like diabetes or obesity.
  6. Sprained ankle: Just like a sprained wrist, the ankle joints lose flexibility as we age, making them prone to sprains.
  7. Patellar fracture: This fracture of the kneecap can occur from falls and, depending on how and where the bone has fractured, can lead to a quick and easy or lengthy convalescence.
  8. Patellar tendonitis: This occurs when the tendon that connects the kneecap and the shinbone becomes inflamed.
  9. Plantar fasciitis: This injury occurs when the thick tissue at the bottom of the foot, the plantar fascia, becomes inflamed.
  10. Hamstring strain: Anyone can strain their hamstring, but the risk of this strain increases with age.
  11. Calf strain: Like the hamstring, the calf is more at risk for straining as the body gets older.
  12. Lower back pain: We’re more likely to experience lower back pain as we get older and, more often than not, it’s something that can be treated with over-the-counter medication.
  13. Concussion: Often a result of a traumatic brain injury, the chances of concussion increase as mobility decreases.
  14. Cerebral contusion: Like a concussion, a cerebral contusion is often the result of a head injury.
  15. Compression fracture: Often caused by an injury, like a car collision, or the result of age-related issues, like osteoporosis, a compression fracture makes it difficult for the spine to hold up against gravity.
  16. Cervical disc injury: Caused when the core of the cervical disc leaks and puts pressure on a nerve root, this cause of the injury is usually unidentifiable.
  17. Finger fracture: One of the least problematic injuries for people over 50, a finger fracture generally tends to heal quickly.
  18. Bruising: Thinning of the skin with age makes it easier for the blood vessels to burst, resulting in more bruises.
  19. Acute kidney injury: The body’s renal reserve, which helps kidneys heal, decreases as we age, making it more likely to experience kidney issues as we get older.
  20. Sunburn: The older we get, the more likely we are to experience skin issues like sunburns and even skin cancer.
  21. Diabetes: Chances of developing diabetes increase as we age, with those older than 45 years being at the highest risk, and can lead to kidney failure, blindness and heart disease.
  22. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: Symptoms of this disease, which include trouble breathing, tend to show up after age 50 and can be debilitating if ignored.

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