October 10, 2012
Falls and fall-related injuries are a major epidemic for seniors 65. Over two million nonfatal fall injuries were reported for seniors treated in emergency departments and more than 600,000 were hospitalized during 2011. Over 20,000 seniors died from unintentional fall injuries and direct medical costs for falls were over $30 billion. In most cases, falls result in impaired function and quality of life and often lead to early admission in a nursing home. There is a variety of causes and risk factors associated with falls that are documented; however, the correlation between of foot and ankle pain, poor balance, and falls is significant.
The good news is that a new custom-made ankle foot orthotic device has been developed to effectively reduce the risk of falls by 30-60%. It is particularly beneficial for patients who have difficulty walking, who are at risk of falling because of weak ankles, instability, or arthritis. It can be a benefit to a person who has suffered a stroke or other neurological problems that result in weakness, dizziness, or numbness. It also benefits anyone dependent on a cane, walker, or assistive device.
The new device improves balance and prevents falls by reducing the body’s postural sway. It stabilizes the foot and ankle when weakness and fatigue exists. It also improves foot clearance and reduces the risk of tripping.
This cost of the device is covered by Medicare and most major commercial insurances. To determine if you are a candidate for the new device and qualify for reimbursement, schedule an appointment with Dr. Sigle at the Foot & Ankle Center of Illinois. Take action now to prevent a fall or fall-related injury from happening.