Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine

Hip FAQ

Question:

I'm 81-years old and doing pretty good. I did break my hip last winter but I'm back on the golf course now. I do notice that side seems weaker and gets tired faster when walking. What can I do to catch the bad side up to the good side?

Answer:

Uneven strength from side-to-side is fairly common after a hip fracture, especially among older adults. Studies show that a strength training program can make a difference. Low loads and resistance are usually used at first. This is to ensure safety and prevent further bone fractures. In the average, healthy adult, it takes about six weeks of consistent exercise to make a change in strength and power. It may take longer in seniors who have had a bone fracture. It's always best to have medical approval before starting a new exercise program. Check with your orthopedic surgeon and schedule an appointment with your primary care physician. Your doctor will examine you and rule out any health problems that might put you at risk for heart attack, aneurysm, or stroke. A physical therapist can provide you with an individually tailored exercise program. The therapist will be able to monitor your vital signs before, during, and after exercise to make sure your exercise program is safe but still effective. Compliance and cooperation (following the program daily or as prescribed) will help you gain strength quickly. After six to 12-weeks of consistency, a maintenance program can be designed for use as long as possible. Erja Portegijs, MSc, et al. Effects of Resistance Training on Lower-Extremity Impairments in Older People With Hip Fracture. In Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. September 2008. Vol. 89. No. 9. Pp. 1667-1674.

*Disclaimer:* The information contained herein is compiled from a variety of sources. It may not be complete or timely. It does not cover all diseases, physical conditions, ailments or treatments. The information should NOT be used in place of visit with your healthcare provider, nor should you disregard the advice of your health care provider because of any information you read in this topic.
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