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Breaking Down Hip Fractures

People worry about heart disease, cancer, diabetes – but far fewer truly recognize the danger of a hip fracture.

“As we get older and you have a hip fracture a lot of the studies show that you decline,” says Dr. David Eichten, who is an orthopedic surgeon on medical staff of Lee Memorial Health System.

Breaking down the impact of hip fractures, the CDC reports one in five patients die within a year. The majority of broken hips result from falls.

“70-80% are women and 80% are over the age of 65. Most of these patients are going to be in the hospital for 2-3 days. They’re going to require therapy after. And most of them go to a rehab facility for at least two weeks,” says Dr. Eichten.

With so much at stake, preventing hip fractures is an important aspect of maintaining good health. When it comes to older adults, the strategies are two-fold: avoiding falls and strengthening the body.

“It’s important to get a bone density scan and see what your baseline is,” says Dr. Eichten.

Osteoporosis is a top cause of brittle bones. Preventing it or properly treating it can greatly influence fracture risk. Studies find post-menopausal women can avoid bone loss and increase bone density through regular exercise.

“It’s important for people to know that their bone is alive, it’s constantly being remodeled and it’s important for exercise and weight-bearing activity so that your bones aren’t soft,” says Dr. Eichten.

The bottom line: active attention goes a long way in avoiding a breakdown.

View More Health Matters video segments at leememorial.org/healthmatters/

Lee Memorial Health System in Fort Myers, FL is the largest network of medical care facilities in Southwest Florida and is highly respected for its expertise, innovation and quality of care. For nearly a century, we’ve been providing our community with everything from primary care treatment to highly specialized care services and robotic assisted surgeries.

Visit leememorial.org

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