In the United States, falls cause nearly 1,800 hip fractures every day. Women have up to three times as many hip fractures as men. In fact, white, post-menopausal women have a one in seven chance of hip fracture during a lifetime. Nearly one half of women who reach age 90 have suffered a hip fracture at some time.
While the risk of falling increases with age, it also increases with certain medical conditions including heart disease, low blood pressure and diabetes. For people in a high-risk category, hip protectors can reduce the harm occurred during a fall.
- How Hip Protectors Work
- Hip protectors are worn like an undergarment. The outside is a hard, protective shell while the inside has soft padding for comfort. If you fall down, the hip protector helps to prevent you from breaking your hip.
- Facts about Hip Protectors
- Almost all broken hips are caused by direct force to the hip area.
- Hip protectors were created based on scientific biomechanical studies.
- Hip protectors are made from special materials that protect the hips and reduce the force from the fall.
- There are a variety of hip protectors on the market, costing between $60 and $155.
- The cost of hip fracture care averages $26,912 per patient.
- Potential Challenges with Hip Protectors
- Hip protectors add bulk to your clothing.
- If you have a bladder problem, a hip protector may be difficult to remove before you have to use the restroom.
- Hip protectors have to be worn in the correct position to work properly.
- You should sleep in your hip protector, although it may feel uncomfortable at first.
If you have fallen in the past or are at risk of falling, talk to your doctor about how a hip protector could protect you in the future.
American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, www.orthoinfo.org