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Osteoporosis and Fractures

Hip Fracture

Are you maintaining good bone health? It does not matter how old or young you are. Ensuring you maintain strong bones is critical. Decisions you make in childhood and early in adult life have a profound effect on your bone density. After the age of 30, your bone mass stops growing and will decline with age. When that bone density drops below a certain level, you have osteoporosis which causes weakening of the bone. Broken bones associated with osteoporosis affect more people in a year than heart attack, stroke, and breast cancer combined.

What can you do?

1. Eat a healthy diet and ensure you get proper calcium and vitamin D into your diet. Most adults need about 1,000mg of calcium (from all sources) and at least 1,000 IU of vitamin D each day. Talk with your primary doctor for exact amounts for you.

2. Maintain a healthy weight. Keep your BMI 18.5 to 24.9.

3. Exercise regularly. Weightbearing (walking, jogging, hiking) and resistance (weightlifting) exercises are very important. Balance training and strengthening to prevent falls when you are older helps as well.

4. DO NOT smoke and do not drink excessive amounts of alcohol.

5. If you have osteoporosis, your doctor may put you on medication to help strengthen your bones.

Some studies show that in the United States at least 50% of women and 25% of men will have a broken bone due to osteoporosis. These often affect the hip, shoulder, spine, wrists, and ankles. 

For patients over the age of 65, a hip fracture is extremely serious. Approximately 50% of these patients lose long term function (need a cane or walker); 80% lose independence in taking care of themselves (no longer drive or perform basic self-care alone); and 20-30% die within 1 year of breaking their hip.


Creighton C. Tubb, MD Creighton C. Tubb, MD Hip & Knee Replacement Surgery; New Braunfels Orthopaedic Surgery & Sports Medicine, New Braunfels, Texas

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