How can I protect myself from fractures if I have osteoporosis?
Ethel Siris, MD:
A lot of the fractures occur in the setting of falls, and particularly in older people who fall. So you want to de-booby trap your house.You want to make sure there's good lighting. You want to make sure there aren't rugs you're going to slip on.You want to make sure you know that the kitchen isn't constantly slick with water from the coffee pot when something spills.You want to be careful about that sort of thing. Having guard rails, having a good hand rail as you walk up steps.Bathrooms are the source of lots of fractures, so the shower or the tub, you've got to be sure.And of course, showers and tubs you may not want to use in the first place without some help if you're very frail.But in any event, the shower and the tub, there should be hand rails.Even getting up from a toilet sometimes, if it's difficult for you to do that, because your legs are weak or because you have bad arthritis in your knees.It may be good to have something to grab on to to help get yourself up so that you don't fall. Lots of fractures occur in the home, in the kitchen, in the bathroom, and on steps.