What is a hip fracture (broken hip)?
hip bone is not just one bone. It is actually several bones that come
together like a puzzle and make up what is called the "hip bone". Hip
fractures occur at the top of the thigh bone (leg bone) commonly known
as the femur.
Why does a hip fracture or break occur?
hip fractures occur as a consequence of osteoporosis. In fact, it is
estimated that more than 90% of hip fractures are associated with
How does a hip fracture or break usually happen?
hip fracture usually occurs in a fall from standing height. In fact,
only 10% of hip fractures occur spontaneously, without a fall.
When do hip fractures usually occur?
fractures most often occur in adults over the age of 70. In general,
the risk for hip fracture dramatically increases with advanced age.
How common is a hip fracture?
the United States, there are about 297,000 hip fractures per year. In
fact, a woman's risk of hip fracture after age 50 is equal to her
combined risk of breast, uterine and ovarian cancer. The rate of hip
fractures is 2 to 3 times more common in women than in men. However,
men have a higher risk (almost two times higher then women) of dying in
the year following a hip fracture.
Is a hip fracture serious?
hip fracture is considered to be the worst consequence of osteoporosis.
It can cause severe pain in the buttock, groin or hip and almost always
results in the inability to stand or walk. A hip fracture may cause
temporary disability, permanent disability, or even more severe
Almost all people who have hip fractures
require surgery to repair the broken bone. Hip fractures most often
occur in late adulthood when it is common to have additional medical
conditions that increase the risk for surgical complications. The
complications from surgery can be serious and may include blood clots,
pneumonia, infections, and bleeding. Sadly, the risk of dying in the
year following a hip fracture is 15 to 20 percent higher compared to
a group of individuals of the same age with no hip fracture. Death
rates following hip fracture are especially high among men and
A hip fracture can impact an
individual's life in many ways. It commonly leads to a loss of
independence. Following surgery, some people require long-term skilled
nursing care. In fact, approximately 25% of women require care in a
skilled nursing facility for at least a year after the fracture. For
individuals who are discharged from the hospital to a home setting, it
is common to need help from family, friends, or healthcare
professionals with daily activities such as bathing, dressing, and
What can be expected during recovery from a hip fracture?
a hip fracture, only a small percentage of people are able to return to
the same level of independence that they had before the fracture.
Although there are common steps towards recovery, individuals may
require different levels of care in order to reach optimal wellness.
Hip fracture patients often require rehabilitation by trained
professionals such as physiatrists, physical therapists, and/ or
occupational therapists. Some people who suffer from hip fractures need
canes or walkers to assist with safe movement and walking. It is
important to know that once you have had a fracture, you are at an
increased risk for future fractures. To reduce your risk of fracturing
again, be sure to get enough calcium and vitamin D each
day. It is also very important to speak to your healthcare provider
about taking an appropriate FDA- approved osteoporosis medication that
will be effective for reducing your risk for another hip fracture
as well as other fractures.
bones are a lifelong commitment. It is never too early or too late to
take the steps to prevent osteoporosis. At any age you can reduce
your risk for falling and breaking a bone.