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Challenges in Diagnosis and Treatment of Shoulder Dislocation in Older Patients

Rotator cuff tears more common, but recurrence less likely compared to younger patients

 

Although shoulder dislocation can occur at about the same rates in both younger and older patients, injuries in older patients are more likely to be overlooked or misdiagnosed, resulting in years of persistent pain and disability. A new study published in the October 2012 issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons examines the differences in dislocation injuries between older and younger patients and suggests an approach to evaluate older patients that could help improve diagnosis and management of interrelated injuries.

Study lead author Anand Murthi, MD says understanding the very different ways shoulder dislocation can affect patients over 40 years of age is the first step in making an accurate diagnosis of dislocation-related injuries.

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Measuring Women's Risk of Osteoporosis

For women of mixed racial or ethnic backgrounds, a new method for measuring bone health may improve the odds of correctly diagnosing their risk of osteoporosis and bone fractures, according to a UCLA-led study

 

Currently, assessing osteoporosis and the risk of fractures from small accidents like falls requires a bone density scan. But because these scans don't provide other relevant fracture-related information, such as bone size and the amount of force a bone is subjected to during a fall, each patient's bone density is examined against a national database of people with the same age and race or ethnicity.

This approach, however, doesn't work for people of mixed race or ethnicity because comparison databases can't account for mixed heritage. A similar problem exists for those from smaller racial or ethnic groups for which there are not comparison databases.

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