A hip fracture is a terrible experience, to the patients themselves, and to their family members too. In order to repair the fracture, it will require major surgery which may possibly involve either metal pinning with screws or total replacement of the hip joint with artificial parts. If all ends up well, you go home without a problem. However, undergoing these procedures gives you a risk of infection, blood clotting, and even bleeding, either because of the nature of the surgery itself or because of some underlying conditions you may have.
After such a surgical procedure, long and aggressive rehabilitation programs are necessary for function to be restored. Elderly patients may find it very difficult to bounce back to their previous selves. In addition, family members may have to deal with loss of independence and nursing-home placement too.
See how much of a big deal hip fractures are? What’s worst is that around 250,000 people in the United States suffer hip fractures each year. If it’s that bad, we should all find a way around it. Or better yet, we should focus more on preventing hip fractures in the first place, right? Here are some simple preventive measures you can follow:
Exercise and maintain an active lifestyle to strengthen bones and improve balance. Weight-bearing exercises, such as brisk walking and tai-chi all help you maintain your bone density for more years. Exercise also increases your overall strength, making you less likely to fall. Improving your balance, which can be done by practicing yoga, is also a must because balance deteriorates naturally with age.
Turn your unhealthy lifestyle around. Avoid smoking or drinking because excessive tobacco and alcohol use have been shown to reduce bone density. Healthy lifestyle choices in early adulthood also build a higher peak bone mass. The same healthy choices and measures may lower your risk of falls and improve your overall health.
Review your medications. A lot of medications, especially sleeping pills and pain medications carry possible side effects which can increase your risk of falling. List all of them down and talk to your doctor about their side effects. You may also request for alternatives with less of these effects but same efficacy.
Look around your home and look for potential hazards. Keep all electrical cords against the wall. Place toys and small objects away from the stairs, and clear excess furniture. It will also help a lot if you keep every room and passageway well-lit.