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Reduce Hip Fractures  

by: Terry Walsh

You listened to the doctor who told you that you needed to have that hip replaced, but what about life after hip surgery and was there anything that could have been done to prevent or delay the need for replacement.  

Life after a hip fracture can change immeasurably for someone who wishes to remain independent.  Recovery from a hip fracture can take a long time, even years, and an estimated 40 percent of hip fracture patients require nursing home care.

Each year, 350,000 hip fractures occur in the United States, according to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons. 

Experts predict that there will be 650,000 hip fractures annually by 2050. Senior citizens, post-menopausal women, people with family history of fractures, people with low calcium intake in their diets and smokers are at a higher risk for hip fracture.

Reduce hip fracture risk

Only 25 percent of hip fracture patients make a full recovery and nearly one in four hip fracture patients die within 12 months after the injury.  It is obviously very important that you do what you can to minimize your risk of a hip fracture

Are you at risk? Here are some tips on how to help prevent a hip fracture:

  1. Include recommended amounts of calcium and vitamin D in your diet. This should begin early in life. Calcium intake is especially important for menopausal women as bone loss occurs more rapidly during menopause.

  2. Keep safety in mind at home to help prevent falls. Provide clear passageways throughout your home. Be careful not to leave objects on the floor that you can trip over. Ensure that your tub and bathroom floor are not slippery. Clean up spills right away. Keep a night light on in case you have to get up at night.

  3. Make healthy lifestyle choices. Exercise to help maintain strong bones. Avoid smoking and frequent alcohol consumption which increase your risk of a fracture.

If you have a hip fracture, surgery may be necessary. Hip replacement surgery is a common procedure. But in some cases, it can cause even more problems for the patient. 

Recently, Sulzer Orthopedics, a major implant manufacturer, has been facing lawsuits after the voluntary recall of thousands of Inter-Op shell hip replacements that were found to have an oily residue thus preventing the shell from bonding with the bone. As a result, some patients have been required to undergo one or more subsequent hip replacement surgeries.

Only Inter-Op acetabular shells produced after October 1999 and a limited number produced after June 1997 have been recalled.

If you have undergone hip replacement surgery and think you might have received a faulty device, it's best to visit your doctor as soon as possible for a proper medical evaluation. If it is determined that you are suffering from an injury related to a defective Inter-Op shell, you may be entitled to legal compensation.




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