She “Fell Into” a Hip Fracture

Judy Baar Topinka's fall prompts orthopaedic surgeons' advisory
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Ninety percent of the more than 352,000 hip fractures in the US each year are the result of a fall. Just this week, Illinois Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka fell as she was getting onto an elevator at a Springfield hotel and fractured her left hip. The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) knows that a fall can be both life threatening and debilitating.

 

Consider the statistics and prevalence:
>> Women have two to three times as many hip fractures as men.

>> White, post-menopausal women have a one in seven chance of hip fracture during a lifetime.

>> The risk of hip fracture for women 5'8" or taller is twice that of women who are 5'2".

>> Studies show that women who have broken their arm in the past have an increased risk of breaking a hip.

Take a proactive approach to fall prevention by using the following AAOS guidelines to help keep you and your loved ones, fall and injury-free or visit orthoinfo.org/falls.

 

Tips for the Home:
>> Eliminate all tripping hazards, such as loose rugs in the home. Or, secure loose rugs with double-faced tape, tacks, or slip-resistant backing.

>> Install grab bars or handrails on both sides of the stairway and other safety devices near bathtubs and beds.

>> Place a lamp or flashlight near the bed.

>> Keep clutter—like pets’ toys, papers, or boxes—off floors and staircases.

>> Replace satiny bed sheets with products made of non-slippery material, such as wool or cotton.

>> Arrange furniture to allow a clear pathway between rooms.

>> Install light-switches at the top and bottom of the stairs. Or, try motion-detector lights that turn on automatically.

>> Put non-slip treads on bare-wood steps.

>> Consider adding rails to the bed to prevent falls from bed.

>> Keep track of pets as they’re responsible for more than 86,000 fall-related injuries each year.

 

Dress:
>> Wear properly fitting shoes or slippers with non-skid soles throughout the home—especially on stairs.

>> Replace slippers that have stretched out of shape and are too loose.

>> Never walk with socks or stockings on hardwood floors.

>> Consider wearing an alarm device that will bring help in case you cannot get up from a fall.

 

The AAOS has more resources on falls available:
>> Guidelines for preventing falls

>> Getting up from a fall

>> Hip fractures and falls

For more information about the AAOS, visit aaos.org.