Kelowna Capital News

A healthy diet and reducing risk of falling at home avoids hip fractures

One of the most common life changers for otherwise healthy older people is breaking a hip, says award winning U.S. orthopedic surgeon Dr. Marc Stevens.

“About half of patients who suffer a hip fracture have problems walking afterward, and about a fourth are unable to live independently afterwards. It’s one of the main reasons older adults move into nursing homes,” said  Stevens.

People with osteoporosis—a bone-thinning condition—have a much greater risk of suffering a fracture, Stevens says.

Bones lose strength with increased age, and osteoporosis primarily affects women older than 50, but men make up 20 percent of osteoporosis suffers, he says.

“The most common fractures are to hips, vertebrae and wrists—the bones that experience the most physical stress on a daily basis. Spinal fractures can also seriously affect a person’s quality of life. They often have a difficult time bathing, dressing, or walking independently,” Stevens said.

Stevens offers these tips for preventing a broken hip:

• Focus on osteoporosis and nutrition: Stevens says he advises his patients, especially women, to prevent osteoporosis by consuming bone-healthy vitamins, such as vitamin D, calcium, manganese, magnesium and other crucial building blocks for type i collagen. Regular exercise also helps strengthen bones.

• Avoid common accidents: While time, lack of adequate nutrition and chronic conditions such as osteoporosis make bones susceptible to breaks, a fall often finishes the job. Most injuries occur at home—where we spend most of our time. Keep pathways to the bathroom well-lighted at night to help reduce the risk. If you have area rugs, make sure they’re secured to the floor. Install grab bars in the tub or shower.

“Osteoporosis is currently not a curable condition, but it can often be prevented simply through exercise, good nutrition, not smoking and not drinking excessively,” Stevens advised. “There is nothing sadder than to see one of my older, healthy patients go from happy, independent lifestyles to assisted-living or nursing homes because of a fall.”

We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.

You might like ...

Amrik Virk advised Kwantlen on secret executive bonus
 
Flu vaccine less effective against mutant strain
 
Prince Rupert LNG plant, pipelines get B.C. certificates
This Storybook isn’t all ‘Grimm’
 
New rules coming for local election spending
 
The future of Castlegar
UPDATE: Rice receives written confirmation of changes to wheelchair cabin policy
 
School District 8 implements anti-violence protocols
 
Nelson Chamber’s CP station renovation receives more funding

Community Events, November 2014

Add an Event


Read the latest eEdition

Browse the print edition page by page, including stories and ads.

Nov 26 edition online now. Browse the archives.