Hip Fractures in the Elderly


The fracture of the hip is one of the serious injuries which, if not treated properly, can lead to the complications that are often life-threatening. Hip fractures represent breaks in the upper part of the thigh bone that is close to the hip joint.

What are the causes of the broken hips?

The hip fractures usually occur as the result of a fall to a hard surface from a great height, or an injury to the side of the hip that is the consequence of a car crash or some other kind of accident. Sometimes fractures may be caused by a medical condition known as osteoporosis that gradually leads to the loss of bone tissue, by cancer and other diseases that weaken the bones and make them more susceptible to breaking. They may be caused by obesity as well that leads to a great pressure on the hip bones and sometimes it is even possible for a weak hip to break with people merely standing on the leg or twisting it. The extent of the break depends on many things, and no matter what kind of fracture occurs, a broken hip is always critical condition, and it requires immediate medical attention and often surgery.

Who is at greatest risk of hip fractures?

Hip fractures are serious injuries, and they can occur at any age. However, the older adults are at the higher risk of hip fractures. The risk of hip fractures rises with age.  As we age the strength and density of our bones start to deteriorate. Bones become weaker, and they break easily.

What are the factors that lead to elderly hip fractures?

There are numerous factors that can lead to the hip fractures in the older adults. Multiple medications, reduced vision and mobility and balance problems make seniors more likely to fall and break their hips. Hip fractures are also more common for women whose bone density decreases as their estrogen level decreases with the beginning of menopause. They are also at a greater risk of osteoporosis. Also a small-boned and slender people like Asians and Caucasians are more likely to suffer from osteoporosis. Poor nutrition in childhood as well as some eating disorders can also lead to the increase of hip-fracture risk. Various medical conditions that were already mentioned above as well as the use of multiple medications, tobacco and alcohol can lead to the damaged bones and bone loss. Sometimes home environment and the arrangement of the furniture in the house can cause trips and falls and therefore broken hips.

What are the symptoms and how to prevent the fractures?

A broken hip often includes the symptoms such as the pain in the hip. The leg that is broken can often be shorter than the healthy one. A person with a broken hip will not be able to walk easily or put weight and pressure on the broken hip and leg. The fracture is often followed by the inflammation and bruising of the hip.

Although it looks difficult, hip fractures can be prevented. The risk of broken bones can be reduced by using walking aids, rearranging the things in home to make it safer, using exercises for improving balance, by proper treating of osteoporosis and by introducing healthy diets that will help people avoid malnourishment and that include various nutrients that are crucial for the health of bones such as vitamin D, calcium, protein , etc.

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15 Dec 2016


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