Tips on Preventing Hip Fractures

Published Online: Sunday, September 1, 2002

Studies have shown that more than 40% of hip fracture patients will be unable to regain their ability to walk as they did before the fracture; another 15% will be limited to walking inside their homes and will be unable to walk in the community; and 10% may lose their ability to walk altogether. As part of the Prevent Injuries America! program, the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons offers these guidelines on reducing the risks of falling:

? Get an annual physical and eye examination, particularly an evaluation of cardiac and blood pressure problems
? Maintain a diet with at least 1200 mg of calcium and 1300 mg of vitamin D
? Engage in walking and weight training to improve both muscle and bone, and in balance activities, such as tai chi
? Eliminate all tripping hazards at home, such as loose rugs; repair any loose carpeting or floorboards; install nonslip tread on stairs; and install grab bars and handrails
? Provide enough light to see each step at both the top and bottom of stairways
? Wear properly fitting shoes with nonskid soles; tie shoelaces
? Replace slippers that have stretched out of shape and are too loose
? Keep an up-to-date list of medications, and provide it to all doctors

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