Broken hip

Other names: Hip fracture

DEFINITION A

hip fracture is a serious injury, with complications that can be life-threatening. The risk of hip fracture rises with age. Older people are at a higher risk of hip fracture due to weakened bones, multiple medications, poor vision, and balance problems.

SYMPTOMS

CAUSES

Hip fractures can result from severe impacts or falls, especially in older adults with weak bones.

RISK FACTORS

Factors contributing to hip fractures include age, decreased bone density, vision and balance issues, sex, chronic medical conditions, certain medications, nutritional problems, physical inactivity, tobacco and alcohol use.

Complications: Hip fractures can reduce independence, increase the risk of further falls and fractures, and lead to complications like blood clots, bedsores, infections, and muscle loss.

PREPARING FOR YOUR APPOINTMENT

Questions your doctor may ask include recent falls or injuries, pain severity, ability to bear weight on the injured leg, medical history, medications taken, lifestyle habits, family history of bone fractures or osteoporosis.

TESTS AND DIAGNOSIS

Diagnosis is usually based on symptoms and confirmed by X-rays. MRI or bone scans may be ordered if needed. Hip fractures often occur in the femoral neck or intertrochanteric region.

TREATMENTS AND DRUGS

Treatment involves surgery (internal repair or replacement), rehabilitation (physical therapy), and medication (bisphosphonates to reduce second fracture risk).

Lifestyle and Home Remedies: Adopting healthy lifestyle choices like adequate calcium and vitamin D intake, regular exercise for bone strength and balance, avoiding smoking and excessive drinking, assessing home hazards, eye check-ups, monitoring medications for side effects can help prevent hip fractures.


QUESTIONS

  1. What are the symptoms of a hip fracture?

Inability to move after a fall

Severe pain in the hip/groin

Inability to bear weight on the injured leg

Stiffness, bruising, swelling in the hip area

Shorter leg on the injured side

Outward turning of the leg on the injured side

  1. What are the risk factors for hip fractures?

Age-related decreased bone density

Vision and balance problems

Female sex

Chronic medical conditions

Certain medications

Nutritional deficiencies

Physical inactivity

Tobacco and alcohol use

  1. How is a hip fracture diagnosed?

Based on symptoms

Confirmed by X-rays

MRI or bone scans may be ordered if needed

  1. What are the treatment options for a hip fracture?

Surgery (internal repair or replacement)

Rehabilitation (physical therapy)

Medication (bisphosphonates)

  1. How can lifestyle changes help prevent hip fractures?

Adequate calcium and vitamin D intake

Regular weight-bearing exercise

Avoiding smoking and excessive drinking

Home hazard assessment

Regular eye check-ups

  1. What complications can arise from a hip fracture?

Blood clots

Bedsores

Urinary tract infections

Pneumonia

Muscle loss

  1. Who is at higher risk for a hip fracture?

Older individuals

Those with weakened bones (osteoporosis)

People with vision/balance issues

  1. Why do women have a higher incidence of hip fractures than men?

Women lose bone density faster after menopause due to decreased estrogen levels.

  1. How does physical inactivity contribute to the risk of hip fractures?

Weight-bearing exercises help strengthen bones; lack of activity can lead to lower bone density.

  1. What role do bisphosphonates play in preventing second hip fractures?

Bisphosphonates may help reduce the risk of a second hip fracture by improving bone density.