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05/11/09   |   By

Hip Fracture Prevention | DC Metro Area Personal Injury Law Blog

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By Victor E. Long, Esq.

Many older people fear hip fractures — and with good reason. Of all types of fractures, hip fractures have the most significant impact on the quality of life. An alarming 20–25% of people over age 50 who break a hip will die within a year.

A hip fracture usually occurs when a persons fall from a standing position, with the hip taking the impact of the fall, although less traumatic falls also can cause hip fractures According to Johns Hopkins University, 90% of hip fractures are the result of a fall.

Here are some simple steps you can take to reduce the likelihood of falling:

  • First, make sure that your floors are clear of any obstacles such as area rugs or extension cords.
  • Hallways, stairwells, and bathrooms should be well lit (especially at night).
  • Grab bars in showers and bathtubs are highly recommended.
  • Be sure that your eyeglasses or contact lens prescriptions are up to date.
  • Review your medications with your doctor; some medications can increase the risk of falls by impairing balance and alertness.
  • In some cases, lightly padded hip protectors may be recommended; these can reduce the risk of a hip fracture in the case of a fall.
  • Another way to reduce the risk of falls is to improve your muscle strength through resistance training and your balance through yoga or tai chi exercises. Check with a physical therapist or certified trainer to get recommendations that are appropriate and safe for you.
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