A Fall Risk Assessment Could Save Your Life

Let’s hit you with some numbers.

Every single year, more than one quarter of seniors over age 65 suffer at least one fall. (If you’re over 80, the risk is more like 50-50.)

Falls are one of the leading causes of accidental death among the elderly, at about 30,000 cases per year in the United States alone. And falls are the leading cause of non-fatal injuries and hospitalizations among seniors as well.

One nasty fall could literally kill you.

Even if it doesn’t kill you, it could cause a significant injury (broken hip, broken leg, concussion, etc.) that will take a long time to heal and could permanently reduce your quality of life.

And even if your injuries are minor, the fear of future falls could still cause you to withdraw from physical and social activity.

Whether you’ve never fallen before or have fallen many times already, preventing the next one should be at the top of your priority list.

Fortunately, we can help you. In addition to being experts in foot and ankle biomechanics, we’re also the only practice in Waco offering a custom brace option that can significantly reduce your risk of falling.

More on that in a minute. First:

Fall Risk Assessment Importance

Are You at Risk?

The unfortunate truth is that many people don’t fully grasp how dangerous their situation is until after they’ve already fallen—maybe more than once.

By that time, it may be too late.

Be honest with yourself and ask yourself these questions:

  • Do I have trouble getting in and out of chairs, or in and out of bed?
  • Do I find myself constantly reaching for sources of support—walls, chairs, furniture, people, etc.—to keep my balance?
  • Have I noticed any changes in my vision or hearing?
  • Have I noticed any changes in my walking patterns (shuffling, limping, etc.)?
  • Have I stopped doing certain activities out of fear of falling?
  • Do I suffer from decreased ankle strength and range of motion?
  • Do I take medications that cause me to be off balance?
  • Do I have arthritis?
  • Do I have peripheral neuropathy, or otherwise have trouble feeling my feet?
  • Am I able to walk and carry on a conversation at the same time?
  • Am I uncomfortable walking on soft or uneven surfaces?
  • Am I taking a number of medications?

If you found yourself answering yes to any of these questions—or perhaps several of them—it’s time to get serious about calling our office and putting a fall prevention plan together.

Preventing the Next Fall

Each situation is different. The biggest risk factors in your own life may not be the same as your neighbor’s, or even your spouse’s.

That’s why it’s so important to schedule an appointment with the experts at Waco Foot & Ankle. We’ll give you a thorough assessment, discuss the most important risk factors in your own life, and help you make smart choices about preventative care options to help you prevent the next fall.

This can include medical treatments, such as correction of a bunion or management for your peripheral neuropathy. It could also include recommendations for what type of shoes to wear, or even how to make your home safer by clearing clutter, plugging in night lights, or installing hand rails.

One option that may be especially helpful is the Moore Balance Brace.

What Is the Moore Balance Brace?

The Moore Balance Brace isn’t just any old foot and ankle brace. It’s a highly specialized, customizable device specifically designed to reduce posterior sway in people who are at elevated risk of falling. Wearing these braces can significantly increase your odds of staying comfortably on your feet while accomplishing your daily tasks.

Why is it so effective? Lots of reasons.

  • It’s custom made from a laser scan of your feet, taken at our office then sent to the lab where the brace is manufactured using CAD software. The exact fit maximizes effectiveness and comfort.
  • It’s super thin and lightweight, meaning it slips easily into almost any shoe or pair of paints and won’t feel heavy or bulky when you walk.
  • It’s made from tough, durable polypropylene, which has just enough flexibility and give for comfort but is firm enough to provide solid support and stability.
  • It includes a built-in orthotic footbed for comfort and support.

Clinical studies as well as our personal experience show that the Moore Balance Brace does a great job reducing body sway, helping our patients feel more stable and comfortable, and reducing the rate of falls.

And as we said earlier, currently we’re the only practice in Waco offering this device.

To be sure, the Moore Balance Brace is only one part of a comprehensive fall prevention program. But when combined with other strategies to mitigate your fall risk, it can make a huge difference.

Are you at risk of falling? How about someone you love? If so, we strongly encourage you or your loved one to give us a call today. We will do everything we can to keep you on your feet so you can continue to enjoy a healthy, active, independent lifestyle.

To schedule an appointment with us, dial (254) 776-6995. You can also request an appointment online.