Hip injuries from falls can be quite serious, especially when they result in hip fractures among the elderly. Many people that were living independently prior to a fall may become disabled and require assistance with routine activities. As fall prevention week is celebrated in September, here are some tips to prevent hip injuries from falls:
- Avoid tripping hazards. Organize your house or living space. There should be no clutter on the floor, spillage of any liquid should be promptly cleaned, and remove loose rugs or wires that you are liable to trip over.
- Make sure you have enough lighting. You are less likely to spot objects on the floor that you could trip over in dim lighting. Your corridors and stairways should be well lit. Keep a torch or lamp at your bedside in case you must go to the bathroom in the middle of the night.
- Exercise regularly. Performing exercises to improve strength, balance, and flexibility 2-3 times a week will help reduce risk of falls.
- Use proper footwear. Wear well-fitting, comfortable shoes with soles that have a good grip.
- Get a regular health checkup. This can help identify conditions like low blood pressure, diabetes, or vision problems that could increase your risk of falls.
- Know your limits. Don't overexert yourself when doing chores around the house or participating in fun activities with friends and family. The adage 'prevention is better than cure' holds true when it comes to preventing hip injuries.
Dr. Yaser A. Metwally is board-certified by both the American Board of Orthopedic Surgery and the Royal College of Surgeons of Canada. He received his fellowship of Reconstructive Surgery from the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota and specializes in hip and knee replacement surgery.