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Child Orthopedics
Spine - Cervical
Spine - Lumbar
Spine - Thoracic

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Is it possible that older adults fall because they tear a muscle rather than the other way around? I am sure I felt a tearing sensation just below my knee before it gave out. I fell and then couldn't get up. But everyone says I tore my tendon because I fell. I can't prove them wrong but in my heart, I know what really happened.

Yours is not an uncommon question from many older adults who fall and end up with musculoskeletal injuries. Tendon tears, sprains, and broken bones are often perceived as the result of the fall, not the cause. But more folks are speaking up and sharing their experiences. Some say there was a sudden pain and then a loss of support or stability and down they went. Others report that they did indeed feel a fall coming on and tried to brace themselves but lost their balance anyway. In the process, the knee was locked in an extended position and the force of the fall was more than it could handle. Soft tissues tear when age-related degeneration is present. Bones break when there is osteoporosis (brittle bones from loss of bone density). The end-result is the same: injury and potential disability with loss of function and independence. Either way, the treatment approach is the same. The important thing is to concentrate on healing and recovery. Rehab to restore motion, strength, and stability will be very important to help avoid future episodes.


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