When we were kids, it was common for our classmates to laugh when someone else fell. Now that we know better, we understand that tripping or slipping as an adult can have serious consequences.
If the person is of advanced age or has a preexisting condition, hip injuries from falls may take longer to heal and affect his or her independence.
4 most common types of hip injuries
1. Hip fractures are most common in people over 65 years of age. This happens for many reasons.
If their vision is impaired or have any ailment that affects their cognitive abilities, they are more likely to trip and fall over something.
If they have arthritis or osteoporosis, their bones will already be frail.
2. Labral tears are also problematic. The labrum is cartilage at the joints. Tearing can also result from age, but are often due to trauma. It tends to affect people between 20 and 40 years of age, typically athletes who engage in contact sports.
3. A fall may also cause dislocation. Since we have two ball and socket joints joining our pelvis to our femurs, a strong impact could cause one of these sockets to move out of place. It sounds horribly painful because it is, and rehabilitation may take several months.
4. Sometimes, injuries won’t be to the hip bone, but to the soft tissue around it. These are called hip sprains, and they happen when tendons or muscles in the hip area suffer tearing as a result of the fall.
The pain will vary on the size and quantity of the tears. Symptoms include swelling, cramping, and/or difficulty when getting up from a sitting position.
How can hip injuries be prevented?
There are certain things you can do to prevent falls around the home. Using handrails when going up and down the stairs may seem like something that only senior adults would need to do, but it’s better to be safe than sorry. Same goes for installing balancing bars and non-slip bath mats in bathtubs.
You can also arrange furniture in an easy-to-navigate way. If you or someone you love has eyesight issues, a low coffee table or end table could pose a risk. It is better to move low furnishings to corners of a room to prevent tripping.
Paying attention to nutrition is also important. Calcium and vitamin D are essential for bone health, so stock up on leafy greens and enjoy the sunshine (after applying sunscreen, of course).
This suggestion may come as no surprise to you, but regular exercise is crucial for overall health. You don’t even have to go to extreme measures and become a marathoner or a cross-fitter. Aging people can easily use free weights and resistance bands. Not only do they boost bone density, but also improve a person’s balance, so there’s an extra bonus for preventing falls.
Alexander Orthopaedics Has Medical Providers Who Specialize in Hip Treatment and Care
At Alexander Orthopaedics, we have over 21 years of experience treating injured hips. Whether you need arthroscopic or major surgery, we’ll know how to best take care of it. Call us or schedule an appointment online. We have offices in Largo, St. Petersburg, and Brandon; so no matter on which side of the Bay you live and play, we have doctors who are ready to assist you. Hip hip hooray!