Thursday, October 27, 2011

Prevent a Broken Bone or Hip Fractures

You Can Protect Your Bones
(photo by morguefile.com)
Learning how to prevent hip fractures, as well as any other type of broken bone, is something everyone needs to think about as we age.  According to research published in JAMA, "The Journal of the American Medical Association," in 2009, there are about 300,000 Americans over the age of 65 who suffer a hip fracture every year.  Of these, about 20% to 30% of them will die within a year.  This is a pretty harsh statistic and the numbers have undoubtedly grown since this research was done.

However, as grim as these statistics sound, there are ways you can reduce the chances that you will fall, suffer a fractured hip, and destroy your health.  Below are some simple steps which everyone should take, beginning before they even retire.

How to Prevent Hip Fractures and Broken Bones

1.  Request a bone-density test from your doctor.  Not only has my doctor ordered these medical tests for me about every five years, I've even had these tests performed at free health clinics at my retirement community and senior center.  The test is completely pain free, and it is the best way to find out if you have started to develop osteoporosis.

2.  Get exercise.  Building up your muscles, improving your balance, and increasing your flexibility are all ways to protect your bones and decrease the likelihood that you will lose your balance and have a hard fall.  Weight bearing exercises, such as walking, are also good ways to strengthen you bones.

3.  Eat right and take supplements. According to a November, 2011 article in AARP Magazine, in order to stay healthy you should consume at least 46 grams of protein a day, as well as take in 12 mg. of calcium and at least 600 - 800 mg. of Vitamin D.  People who do these things are about half as likely to suffer a hip fracture.

4.  Have a fall-risk assessment and physical examination.  Talk to your doctor about your medications and dizzy spells.  Ask him if any of your medications could make your dizzy or create balance problems. Get your eyes checked regularly.

5.  Take a hard look at your home.  Do you have objects, electrical cords or rugs which could cause you to slip or trip?  Is your home well-lit?  Do you have grab bars in the shower and bath enclosures?  Do you put items such as your shoes away so you do not trip over them after removing them?  Setting books, shoes, or other items on the floor in areas where you walk could easily turn a safe area into an unsafe one.

6.  Do not take unnecessary risks.  Avoid walking on ice or walking up and down stairs without using a handrail.  My husband and I recently attended a play, and a woman fell down the stairs as we were leaving.  She was not using the handrail.  Do not take chances.  Fractures can happen to anyone.

Remember:  Preventing a broken bone is much easier than healing broken bones.

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Photo credit:  morguefile.com

6 comments:

  1. This is important advice. It seems almost inevitable that an elderly person who suffers a broken hip follows that with an illness.

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  2. Thank you for the advice. I will certainly follow them to the letter because I agree with you that preventing your bones from breaking is better than treating a broken bone. Also, I don't want to have osteoporosis and have it affect my hip joints. Those issues surrounding the DePuy hip replacement recall is really scaring me off a hip replacement surgery.

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  3. This is a very helpful post as to educate people on how to take care oneself from developing hip pains that may lead to hip implants such as depuy pinnacle hip replacements. Pinnacle Lawsuit

    ReplyDelete
  4. Preventing a broken hip may also mean to prevent a depuy asr hip recall.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I feel that these Hip Lawyers could actually really help.

    ReplyDelete
  6. This is purely common sense, though, I find number's 1,2 & 3 very sensible and brand new information. Nice post anyway.

    I think sometimes no matter how careful you are accidents are still accidents. But worry no more for if you'll injure your hip seriously there is always a hip implant surgery and hip implant device that you can turn on to.

    But if you're really planning to have one, I think you must first read this one -DePuy Pinnacle lawsuit- for an additional precaution.

    ReplyDelete

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