Hip fractures—usually the result of a fall—are among the most common injuries we see in patients who come to West Ridge for rehabilitation. After a partial or total hip-replacement surgery, it can be difficult to get back into the swing of everyday life. But West Ridge’s experienced rehabilitation team can help patients get back on their feet and regain independence.
Who Is At Risk?
While people of all ages and genders can suffer a hip fracture, a variety of factors put elderly women at the greatest risk for this type of injury. Mayo Clinic estimates 70% of all hip fractures occur in women, mostly over the age of 50. One reason is because women have a lower bone density than men and are more prone to osteoporosis—perhaps the greatest risk factor of all.
Still, hip fractures are not exclusive to women. Many aspects of aging put both men and women at risk of breaking or displacing a hip. In both genders, bone density decreases after the age of 30—this loss can be accelerated by a decrease in hormone levels (estrogen in women and testosterone in men). Changes to eyesight, certain medications, and a natural decline in balance and coordination also increase the risk of falling, and thus, fracturing a hip.
The first step to preventing a hip fracture is making changes to your living environment and everyday lifestyle to reduce the risk of falling. You can find tips on our blog here. Other preventative measures include:
An active lifestyle that includes balance training and moderate weight-bearing exercises like walking increases strength and overall health, helping to prevent falls. It also helps maintain peak bone density longer.
Calcium and vitamin D are essential to good bone health. On top of a calcium-rich diet and getting plenty of sunshine, vitamins and dietary supplements can help ensure that you get the nutrients your body needs.
Cutting Out Bad Habits
We all know that smoking is detrimental to lung health, but we don’t often think of the damage it causes to our bones. Smoking not only interferes with the body’s ability to absorb calcium and use vitamin D, it lowers estrogen levels in both men and women, and discourages exercise—all factors that increase the risk of bone loss.
Alcohol also impacts bone loss, but more importantly, drinking can impact balance and coordination, blur vision and decrease inhibitions, drastically increasing the risk of falling.
The Road to Recovery
Physical therapy often begins the day after surgery while patients are still in the hospital. Before being discharged, a doctor can help determine whether an outpatient program or rehabilitation at a skilled care facility is the best course of action.
At a skilled care center like West Ridge, rehabilitation includes physical therapy and occupational therapy to help patients adjust back to everyday life while they recover. West Ridge’s rehabilitation team also includes registered dietitians who help patients plan their meals and make improvements to their diet.
Get Treatment Today
If you or a loved one are seeking rehabilitative treatment in a skilled care facility after a hip fracture, email or call us at (319) 390-3367 to learn more about our capabilities, meet our staff or schedule a tour of our facilities.
This blog contains discussion about health-related subjects, and is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnose or treat any disease or illness. If you are experiencing a medical emergency, please contact your doctor immediately or call 9-1-1.