A hip fracture is a fracture that occur in the upper part of the femur (thigh bone). Typically, a fall or car accident will cause the injuries. Older adults are more likely to suffer from hip fractures because the bones become more fragile as a person ages. Hip fractures are serious injuries that could lead to a life-threatening condition.
Hip fractures occur in the long bone (femur), which connects your pelvis to your knee, most commonly breaks in one of two places:
- Femoral neck: This is located in the femur’s upper part, just below the femoral head, the ball part of the ball-and-socket joint.
- The intertrochanteric region: This is located between the femoral neck and the long, straight part of the femur.
Everyone is at risk for the weakening of bones (osteoporosis) as age increases. Older persons are more likely to fall due to medications, poor vision, and balance issues.
The majority of hip fractures are very painful and require immediate treatment. Some people need a complete hip replacement following a hip fracture. Physical therapy can enhance the prognosis for those who have hip fractures. Hip fractures can prevent by maintaining bone density and avoiding falls.
Hip fracture symptoms suddenly appear. It might start gradually or mildly and get worse over time. A hip fracture may show these signs and symptoms:
- Severe sharp pain in the hip, pelvis, or groin
- Unable to walk or get up
- Inability to bear weight on the affected side
- Bruising and swelling affected side
- Shorter leg on the affected side.
- Turning the leg outward to the side of the damaged hip
A hip fracture usually occurs during an accident, such as a car crash or a fall. In athletics, stress fractures of the hip are common in long-distance runners and athletes, who experience heavy or repeated leg impact. In older people, hip fractures can be due to a fall from a standing height and even walking or getting out of a chair.
The following can increase the risk of hip fractures.
- Age: People over 65 are more likely to sustain a hip fracture. Age generally leads to a decrease in bone density and muscle mass. In addition to eyesight and balance issues, aging can significantly increase the chance of falling.
- Gender: Women experience hip fractures nearly three times as frequently as men. Women lose bone density more quickly than males do, in part because menopause’s decline in estrogen levels hastens bone loss. After menopause, women lose bone mass. It is more common for weak bones to break. Men’s bone density, however, can also fall to dangerously low levels.
- Osteoporosis: This syndrome weakens bones and increases the risk of bone fracture. Osteoporosis is four times more common in women than in males.
- Medications: Falls are made more likely by some medications. The risk losing the balance if they take medications that make them drowsy or that lower their blood pressure. If taken for an extended period of time, cortisone drugs like prednisone can weaken bones. The most often used medicines to prevent falls include sedatives, antipsychotics, and sleeping pills.
- Nutritional problems: Young people’s diets low in calcium and vitamin D reduce peak bone mass and increase the risk of fracture as they age. In order to preserve bone density as they age, it’s critical to consume enough calcium and vitamin D. Bone loss is also more likely in underweight people.
- Lifestyle: Lack of consistent weight-bearing activity, such as walking, can weaken bones and muscles, increasing the risk of fractures and falls. Both alcohol and tobacco use can obstruct bone formation and maintenance process, leading to bone loss that increase the risk of fracture.
- Other disease: People who have an existing health condition have higher chances to be at risk of hip fracture, such as thyroid problems, intestinal disorders because it reduces the absorption of vitamin D and calcium, and conditions that is related to balance such as Parkinson’s disease, stroke and peripheral neuropathy.