When I hear about someone fracturing their hip, the first thing I think of is my great-grandma. That may be stereotyping the older and wiser, but really, that is just facing facts. It's no secret that the older you get, the more fragile you become, especially as a woman. Menopause can really take a hit on your body, sending your hormones and everything else out of whack and ultimately put you at a higher risk for a serious injury such as a hip fracture.
A hip fracture is not your typical broken bone. It can really put a damper in your everyday lifestyle because of the long and tedious recovery that usually requires surgery, therapy, and up to a year of recovery. That is not necessarily to scare you, but paint an accurate picture.
Although generally speaking, the most common demographic for a hip fracture is women over 65 years old, there are many other risk factors that put everyone in danger of this injury. Oddly, if you come from a tall and thin family your chances of breaking your hip go up. Always remember, genetics never fail to get the upper hand on your fate. Also, poor nutrition – especially a deficiency of vitamin D and calcium - and lack of weight-bearing exercises can weaken your bones, making them vulnerable to breaking if you accidentally fall. In addition, if you are a smoker - among other, more serious medical conditions - a hip fracture could potentially be in your future. As if there aren’t enough reasons to quit the habit!
Risk factors aside, when the incident occurs there is no turning back. Immediate treatment is imminent to a healthier recovery. Most doctors opt for surgery. This guarantees the bones are back in place to heal properly. Depending on the placement and severity of the break, screws, metal plates or a rod might be necessary to ensure the best outcome for your future. This is considered a worst case scenario, and an all too common one for older people would be a complete hip replacement. As scary as this may sound as the words slip out of your mouth reading it, it really isn’t and you shouldn't be afraid. Although the reality of the situation is the strength of your hip will never be the same, you can sleep better at night knowing your surgeon put you in the best possible position to make the maximum recovery.
Recovering from this type of injury is no walk in the park. The most valuable thing you can take from this article is that your utmost patience will make for a stronger, faster recovery. And with that said, keep your eyes peeled for my next article on hip fractures were we will delve into a hypothetical recovery after surgery and preventative measures you can take to ensure this doesn’t happen again, or ever.