28Nov/16

Using a Three Wheeled Walker and Osteoporosis Prevention

Growing old is inevitable. Eventually, our bodies will age and before we know it, we find ourselves having a difficult time in standing up, sitting down or even walking. This everyday struggle is not just tough for ourselves but for our family as well.

A common situation in which elderly adults find themselves in is having the condition termed as Osteoporosis. In this condition, a person’s bone strength decreases and becomes fragile and brittle to the extent of possibly breaking. Typically, back bones, hip bones and forearm bones are the ones broken.

osteroporosis

There are not much symptoms until a bone breaks. By then, the bones may have weaken and eventually, will result to chronic pain as well as the disability to carry on with normal daily activities. Although osteoporosis manifests very much later in life, it actually develops at a younger age of 20-35.

Osteoporosis may be due to several reasons such as bone loss, treatments of alcoholism, hyperthyroidism, kidney disease, anorexia or even surgeries. Fortunately, osteoporosis may be prevented.

The prevention of osteoporosis generally includes adopting a proper diet throughout childhood. An effort to avoid intake of medications that causes osteoporosis will also help. A proper diet and exercise will also be needed. Habits such as drinking alcohol and smoking should also be put to an end if you are looking into preventing this condition.

However, for those who are already in the situation and has found themselves with this condition, there are ways to make life easier.

First and foremost, falls should be prevented. An elderly with osteoporosis already has a very fragile bone and so, a fall is the last thing we want to happen. Avoiding falls will include having their vision checked so as to make sure they would not slip and fall on the floor. Their clothes should also be in accordance to their body and height—they should not trip on their dresses or pants as this may cause them to fall.

Another way to avoid falling and make everyday movements easier is to give them walking aids. A three wheeled walker is a great walking aid for an elderly with osteoporosis. Compared to a typical cane, a three wheeled walker will offer more support.

Not much different from a four wheeled walker, the three wheeled walker gives elder adults better maneuverability. Turns are easier to do and their movement will be more fluid. Three wheeled walkers are also lighter.elderly-health

Most three wheeled walkers have storage bags in the front so as to allow elderly adults to carry, without a hassle, whatever they want to carry when walking around. Although three wheeled walkers seem to be less stable, they have been equipped with locking brakes so as to avoid accidents and falls.

Furthermore, improving the diet of the elderly will also help them cope with the condition. Salt intake should be lesser and food with more calcium and protein shall be given. An appropriate exercise program will also be pleasant for them as it will keep their bones stronger.

24Oct/16

Are 3D Printed Limbs a Real Thing?

3d-limb

One of the most promising uses of 3D printing is in medicine. Medical 3D printers have been developed to print body parts to replace cartilage, skin and bones. Other body parts have also been successfully printed, like blood vessels, heart valves and liver cells.

The following 5 body parts can be 3D printed right now:

  1. Skin. Skin grafts are done for burn victims or for other injuries. Traditionally, skin grafts are layers of the skin taken from other parts of the body, like the buttocks or thighs. These are then applied to the raw areas which are affected by burns. The skin grafts serve as seeds where the skin can develop and help heal the burned parts of the body. 3D printed skin can help with this process, especially when there is a need for faster grafting onto the burned body parts. This is also very helpful when there are no large areas which can be used as a source for the skin grafts.
  1. Bone. Reconstructive surgery has always come short when it comes to bones. The replacement is usually a metal body part implanted to replace the bone. This is an expensive procedure. 3D printing of bones or bone fragments start with a bone graft. Current technology uses a two-step process, where a hard plastic-like material serves as the foundation and giving it shape. This is then grown in a gel ink media which holds the tissue cells in their proper place. Once in place, the natural bone accepts the implants and helps it further by cementing it in place.
    e-nable-outlines-plan-give-6000-3d-printed-prosthetic-hands-2017-00005
  1. Blood vessels. Artificial blood vessels can be printed outside of the body. Technically, these are not blood vessels, but are plain hollow micro channels which are embedded within organs and allowing blood to flow through. The material used is a biodegradable plastic which contains the cells. It also has a water-based gel which helps the surrounding tissue to assimilate or grow into the implant.

3dp_printed-heart

  1. Heart valves. These are natural candidates considering that plastic body parts are expensive. In addition, artificial heart valves have been in development for several decades. One advantage of a 3D printed heart valve, that these are not rejected by the body. Being based on the person’s own cells, 3D printed heart valves can also be customized according to a person’s actual heart size. This creates a prosthetic heart, which looks and functions in the same way as the original heart.
  1. Ears. Ears and noses are made of cartilage. This is the same cartilage, which envelope joints and connect bones. Cartilage is a soft object with the consistency between rubbery muscle and soft bone. These were some of the earliest items which were output by 3D printing. Although ear replacement is less common than skin grafts, it has become more than just a proof of concept for 3D printing.

3D printing of body parts is already available. Analysts expect that 3D printed body parts will be worth roughly $4.04 billion by 2018. 3D printing is a cost-effective and fast way to create a replacement body part.

Source:

http://fortune.com/2016/02/16/3d-printed-ear-wake-forest/

https://www.engadget.com/2016/02/16/3d-printed-organs/

http://www.forbes.com/sites/robertszczerba/2015/06/17/no-donor-required-5-body-parts-you-can-make-with-3-d-printers-2/#525f85494a3b

http://www.bbc.com/news/health-35581454