Hip fractures occur as breaks in the femur, just below the hip joint. These types of injuries most often occur in people 65 years and older. No matter the type of hip fracture, they can greatly limit mobility and independence, with most breaks requiring surgery.
Hip fractures are caused by several factors, including weakened bones and the impact of falling. Women are more likely than men to fracture their hip. If osteoporosis or broken bones later in life run in your family, you are also at a greater risk for a hip fracture. Poor nutrition and a sedentary lifestyle can also contribute to this vulnerability.
Possessing a greater risk for this injury does not mean you can’t prevent a hip fracture.
Make your home safe
- Falls are the largest cause of hip fractures…and they most often occur at home. Many falls can be prevented by making simple improvements around the house: removing clutter, providing adequate lighting, installing grab bars in the bathroom, and securing rugs to the floor.
- Moderate exercise can strengthen bones as well as muscles. It can also prevent falls by improving balance and coordination. Consult your doctor for the best physical activity for your situation, but climbing stairs, hiking, swimming, and weight training are positive options to add to your routine.
In order to maintain bone health as you age, be conscious of your own risk factors for bone loss. Cut out lifestyle choices that inhibit bone health, such as smoking, excessive alcohol intake, and a poor diet. Talk to your doctor about how your medications may be affecting your bones, and ask if bone-boosting medications are a good choice for you.