Hip fractures are a serious concern for people over age 70, mainly because of falls or thinning fragile bones. Dr. John Avallone, an orthopedic surgeon at St. Mary Medical Center says osteoporosis, which is more common in women, is a major cause of fractures. He says exercise and medications can help. Over the counter calcium and vitamin D pills or prescription medications which can be injected or taken by mouth, may help with osteoporosis.
Dr. Avallone suggests taking safety measures around the house to prevent dangerous slips and falls which can lead to painful fractures. Toss out throw rugs, keep lamp cords out of the way and be careful around pets and their leashes. According to Dr. Avallone, most hip fractures take place early in the morning when you just get out of bed and may be a little disoriented.
If a fracture does occur surgery is serious, it’s a major stress to the older patient. It requires replacement parts, screws and even rods. Months of physical therapy will follow to get the patient back on his feet and into his old routine.