How can I prevent another hip fracture?
To help prevent a hip fracture, you should:
- Get regular physical activity to keep your bones and muscles strong.
- Don't drink or smoke.
- Eat and drink more products with calcium (for example: milk, cottage cheese, yogurt, sardines and broccoli) to keep your bones strong.
- Take vitamin D each day, which helps your body absorb calcium. Your doctor can tell you how much vitamin D is safe for you.
- If your doctor suggests that you use a cane or a walker to help you walk, be sure to use it. This will give you extra stability when walking and will help you avoid a bad fall.
- See your eye doctor once a year. You are more likely to fall if you can't see well because of cataracts or other eye diseases.
- Ask your doctor about medicines that can keep your bones strong and about products that can protect your hips if you fall.
- Make your house safer. Make sure that you have good lighting in your home, which will help you avoid tripping over objects that are not easy to see. Put night lights in your bedroom, hallways and bathrooms. Rugs should be firmly fastened to the floor or have nonskid backing. Loose ends of rugs and carpets should be tacked down. Electrical cords should not be lying on the floor in walking areas. Put hand rails in your bathroom for bath, shower and toilet use. Have rails on both sides of your stairs for support. Be sure the stairs are well lit.
Management of Hip Fracture: The Family Physician's Role by SS Rao, M.D., and M Cherukuri, M.D. (American Family Physician June 15, 2006, http://www.aafp.org/afp/20060615/2195.html)
Written by familydoctor.org editorial staff