As you get older, there are many areas of your health that may need a little extra oversight, which is certainly true of hip fracture prevention. Each year in the United states, 300,000 people over the age of 65 are hospitalized with hip fractures. For many, life isn’t the same afterward.
What most of this hip damage has in common — a full 95% — is that it’s a result of falling sideways, which makes fall prevention a top priority. To help, the team here at Western Orthopaedics pulled together a few tips that will help keep you more steady on your feet so you can avoid a hip fracture.
Know your risks
A great first step is to take proactive action by coming to see us for a hip and bone density evaluation. The fact is that women are far more prone to bone loss, which is why they account for 75% of hip fractures.
In addition to assessing your bone strength, we can also evaluate other risks, such as medications that may be making you dizzy or previous damage in your hips that might make them weaker.
We thoroughly review your current health and your medical history so we can get a clear idea of your risks for a hip fracture. At this point, we can design a customized treatment plan, including a fall prevention plan, that will help you avoid hip fractures in the future.
Fall prevention plan basics
To give you an idea of what a good fall prevention plan might look like, we’re going to outline a few great examples of steps you can take to remain on your feet.
1. Address home safety
Now’s the time to check your home for any tripping hazards, such as:
- Loose area rugs
- Dimly lit areas of your home
- Slippery bathroom surfaces
In mitigating some of these hazards, you can greatly reduce your chances of falling.
2. Get stronger
Another critical step in helping to avoid hip fractures is to boost the strength of your hips. Whether you keep moving through exercise or you engage in targeted hip exercises, keeping your hips strong is one of the best ways to avoid injury.
We also suggest that you work on balance exercises, too, which strengthen the muscles you need to stay steady on your feet.
Two of the best practices for maintaining hip strength and balance is a good yoga regimen or engaging in targeted physical therapy, which we offer here at our practice.
3. Check your eyes
If you’re having trouble seeing, especially in the dark, it makes good sense to see your eye doctor. Whether you need to update existing prescription lenses or it’s the first time you use corrective lenses, improving your eyesight can help avoid missteps that lead to hip-damaging falls.
4. Mind your shoes
Your old, fluffy slippers may comfort you, but they might not be doing you any favors in terms of stepping surely. As you get older, it’s important that you wear shoes that fit snugly and feature good tread so that you have more stability as you move around.
If you follow these tips and come see us for a hip fracture evaluation, we’re confident that you can greatly lower your risks for a hip fracture.
To learn more, contact one of our offices in Denver or Arvada, Colorado, to set up a consultation.