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Austin Foot and Ankle Specialists Vital Role in Fall PreventionWhy is fall prevention so important?
Falls and fall-related injuries are the leading cause of injury deaths among older adults according to Stevens et al published in Injury prevention in 2006. Fall related hip fractures account for approximately 25 percent of injury deaths among those over age 65, and 34 percent of injury deaths among those aged 85 or older. Three in ten seniors fall each year while two in ten who need home healthcare after being in the hospital fall again within the first month after coming home.
Austin Foot and Ankle Specialists are committing to reducing falls and fall-related injuries by addressing this devastating epidemic in our society. We will help by enhancing patient education through successful assessment tools to determine risk factors for those patients who are in danger of falling. Understanding these risk factors, we can intervene with strategies targeted to help prevent these injuries by a number of different modalities.
One of the best ways we can modify the prevention of falls and fall-related injuries is by enhancing the body's ability to maintain the center of gravity over their legs, ankles, and feet. This ability to maintain a stable upright posture is an important factor involving our somatosensory system, not only in the initiation and the control of voluntary movement, but also in the prevention of injury.
We prescribe a specialized balance brace ankle-foot orthosis (AFO) that has been successfully reported to improve postural control by giving proprioceptive information of the foot and ankle to our balance system in the brain. These braces are easy to put on, light weight, aid in toe clearance and eliminate abnormal mechanics of the foot allowing ankle joint motion to aid smooth gait. They are created without laces or latches, have a padded tongue to prevent rubbing and a cushioned footplate for comfort.
If you are interested in Austin Foot and Ankle Specialists multifactorial evaluation, followed by targeted intervention for indentified risk factors please call one our team members to schedule you evaluation.