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Preventing a hip fracture is more desirable than treating one. Preventive measures include taking in enough calcium every day. For women past menopause and not taking estrogen, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) recommends 1,500 milligrams (mg) daily. For those taking estrogen, the recommendation is 1,000 mg. Middle-aged men should take 1,000 mg daily.
Women at menopause should consider having a bone density test. A bone density test is used to measure the bone mineral content and thickness of the bone. This measurement can indicate decreased bone mass, a condition in which bones are more brittle and more prone to break or fracture easily. A bone density test is used primarily to diagnose osteoporosis and to determine fracture risk.
Women, who sustain the majority of hip fractures, produce less estrogen when menopause begins. Most people do not know they have osteoporosis until they sustain a fracture.
Another way to help prevent hip fracture is to engage in regular weight-bearing exercise such as walking, jogging, or hiking. Exercise programs such as Tai Chi help promote strength and balance.
Other preventive measures may include:
Taking medications as prescribed by your physician to prevent bone loss
Eating a calcium-rich diet including milk, cottage cheese, yogurt, sardines, and broccoli
Avoiding excessive alcohol use
Keeping objects off the stairs and floors, such as electrical cords, to prevent falls
Using slip-resistant rugs next to the bathtub and installing grab bars in the tub
Positioning night lights from the bedroom to the bathroom
Using rug pads or non-skid backing to keep rugs in place
Not using unsteady furniture or step ladders to stand on
Visiting an ophthalmologist every year to have vision checked annually and vision loss treated