Don’t fall for it… The risk of Hip Fractures

 

In the decade leading up to 2000, worldwide, there was a nearly 25% increase in hip fractures – with nearly 75% occurring in women.

 

It is quite possible that the recorded increase was attributable to both our increasing longevity and an increased accuracy of statistics, based on an improvement in recording practices. To my mind, the reason why the number of hip fractures suffered by women is far greater than men is simply due to the fact that they on average live far longer (they do also seem more susceptible to osteoporosis! Whatever the underlying reasons, the increase is alarming!

 

The age at which we are most susceptible to these fractures is 75-79. And fractures result in chronic pain, reduced mobility, disability, and an escalating degree of dependence. After sustaining a hip fracture 10-20% of formerly independent people, require long-term nursing care, with the rate of Care Centre and Assisted-living admissions, increasing with age. In white women, the lifetime risk of hip fractures is 1 in 6, compared with a 1 in 9 risks of a diagnosis of breast cancer. Other results of hip fracture are:

  • 5% to 10% of patients experience a recurrent fracture, with the mean interval between the first and second fracture being 3.3 years.
  • Up to a quarter of people who suffer such a fracture are likely to die within 12 months.
  • Up to 40% of victims are unable to walk properly, with 60% requiring assistance 12 months later.

 

With the results of hip fractures being so life-shattering; so serious – can we really afford to ignore the risk. The answer is an unequivocal no! … So take the following precautions:

  • Have your bone density checked by your GP.
  • Join a group, whose regime includes balancing exercises … such as Pilates, Yoga or Tai Chi.–
  • Engage in weight-bearing exercises, as this can increase your bone density by up to 40%.
  • Assess your home from a risk perspective. For example, remove scatter rugs; improve lighting; install grab rails and mark steps clearly.

 

Suffering a Hip fracture can be a life shattering experience, resulting in pain, decreased mobility, a loss of independence and in many cases – even death! So don’t fall for it! Don’t take a chance! Take steps to reduce the risk of suffering a hip fracture!