Your Broken Hip: Get the Facts

What you need to know:

  • Once you have had a broken hip, your chance of another broken hip is 3 to 4 times greater than it was before. Your chance for other broken bones is also greater.
  • A broken hip (hip fracture) is usually the result of osteoporosis and often happens due to a fall.
  • An osteoporosis medication helps to prevent another broken hip or other broken bone. A bone mineral density test may help to see how well your osteoporosis medication is working.

What is osteoporosis?

Osteoporosis is a disease that causes bones to break easily. Although you can break a bone in any part of your body, the most common broken bones associated with osteoporosis are in the spine, wrist, and hip. The good news is that osteoporosis can be treated.

What can I do to help prevent more broken bones?

  • Eat a variety of healthy (nutrient-rich) foods every day. Eat the right amount of calories and protein, and plenty of fruits and vegetables.
  • Get the right amount of calcium. It is best to get calcium from the foods you eat. Foods rich in calcium include low-fat dairy foods milk, yogurt, cheese), dark green, leafy vegetables (bok choy, broccoli, and kale), canned fish (sardines, salmon) eaten with bones and calcium-fortified foods. Try to eat a calcium-rich food at each meal. If you cannot get the calcium you need from food alone speak to your health care provider about whether a calcium supplement is right for you. You need to consume 1,000-1,200 mg a day from food and supplements combined.
  • Take enough Vitamin D. There are only a few good natural sources of vitamin D, including fatty fish such as salmon, sardines, and tuna. Small amounts of vitamin D are added to many milk drinks, juices and some other foods. You may need a vitamin D supplement to get enough vitamin D. Everyone needs 600 to 800 IU a day, but your health care provider may recommend more for you.
  • Be physically active. Participate in physical activity as advised by your health care provider.
  • Be safe. Speak to your health care provider about your risk for falls and how to prevent them.
  • Limit alcohol consumption.
  • Don't smoke. If you do, STOP. Call 1-866-NY-Quits for information about how to quit.
  • Speak to your health care provider about your bone health!

Contact Information

NYSOPEP Resource Center
Helen Hayes Hospital, West Haverstraw, NY

Publication 2050, Version 4/2015