She “Fell Into” a Hip Fracture
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.
>> 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
For more information about the AAOS, visit aaos.org.