Risk Factors for Hip Fractures: June 12, 2014

“Oh, I know I’m not a youngster anymore,” but Mary Boyes acts like one - with a workout routine sure to fatigue someone half her age.

“I do 3 miles, 4 times a week, on the elliptical with some resistance and stuff and then I do weight training and then I work with a trainer once a week,” says Boyes.

Experts are looking for ways to lower the risk of hip fractures.

“If you’re younger, patients are going to recover, they’re going to get back to the things they like to do. As we get older and you have a hip fracture a lot of the studies show that you decline,” says orthopedic surgeon Dr. David Eichten. He is on medical staff at Lee Memorial Health System.

Of the 300,000 older Americans who break a hip each year, 20-30% will die within 12 months.

To some degree, the odds are stacked against women, because of age and hormones - especially after menopause.

“We see a lot of hip fractures and most of them or 70 to 80% are in women. And I think that has to do with being post-menopausal,” says Dr. Eichten.

It’s a breaking point for many older women; osteoporosis creating brittle bones.

“Osteoporosis can be treated, there’s very good medication and can prevent fractures from occurring,” says Dr. Eichten.

Age, sex and activity level are big factors- so are weight, balance, smoking and diabetes. Some are beyond control-others can be worked out.

“It has to do with balance, strength. Are you on a exercising daily or walking daily? All that’s going to help to prevent falls.”

Fitting advice that Mary is following.

“I’m not trying to prove anything, I just want to stay healthy.”