A hip fracture is a serious injury – and, among senior citizens, it’s also very common. According to the cdc, over 300,000 older americans are hospitalized for hip fractures each year, and over 95% of those fractures are caused by a bad fall. Diminished bone density caused by aging, coupled with poor balance and weak muscle tone, leave seniors vulnerable to these potentially life-threatening breaks.
With proper care and attention, though, hip fracture recovery is possible. Here are a few important guidelines to help you get back on your feet after a fall.
Go to physical therapy
Perhaps the most important thing you can do to encourage healing after a hip fracture is to participate in a regimen of physical therapy. A licensed physical therapist will engage you in activities aimed to increase your range of motion and flexibility, and eventually get you walking unassisted. Additionally, the physical therapist will give you hip fracture exercises to perform independently to help you get the most out of the program. Whether it’s inpatient, outpatient, or home-based, your doctor will know what kind of therapeutic care is best for you.
Listen to your body
It’s important to remain active, but pain is a sign that your body needs rest. If you’re feeling intense discomfort or irritation, stop what you’re doing and take it easy. Elevate your feet to relieve swelling, and ice the affected area for 10 to 20 minutes at a time. Also, make sure to get plenty of sleep. By allowing your body the chance to rest and rejuvenate, you’ll help speed up the healing process.
Eat a healthy diet
Nutrition has a significant impact on our health, including how well we can recover from hip fractures and other injuries. To promote fast and effective recovery, it’s important to eat a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and lean sources of protein. Limiting your fat and sugar intake will also improve your health, and vitamin supplements can fill in the nutritional gaps.
Take medication as prescribed
In all aspects of hip fracture recovery, it’s crucial to follow your doctor’s orders. This includes taking all your prescribed medications, exactly as you’ve been instructed. Taking them can mean the difference between life and death, comfort and pain. If you’re experiencing any side effects from your medications, speak to your doctor immediately.
Stay connected with loved ones
Understandably, you value your independence, but after suffering a hip fracture, it’s important to reach out for help when you need it. Ask friends and family members to assist you with daily chores and wound care until you get back on your feet. Overexertion will only delay your recovery, and possibly cause another injury.
Practice accident prevention
To avoid falling again, you should eliminate any potential dangers in your home and set yourself up for safety. Install ramps and handles where necessary, such as near staircases or in bathtubs. Clear away tripping hazards, such as throw rugs or electrical cords. Your physical therapy regimen will also help to improve your balance, coordination, and strength to help keep you on your feet.
Bella vista health center offers hip fracture rehab in san diego
Recovering from a hip fracture takes time, patience, and the help of skilled medical professionals. At bella vista, we offer short-term hip fracture rehab to help you get moving again. Our highly trained staff of nurses, physicians, and therapists provide 24-hour support in a caring and comfortable environment. We strive to give each patient an individualized rehabilitation experience, with the goal of quickly returning to independent living.
For more information on our hip fracture recovery program, call us today at (619) 644-1000.