Hip fracture

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1. Overview

A hip fracture is more than a broken bone. For the elderly, hip fracture is a major change of life.

Most likely, you will also need surgery and recovery may take longer than one year. Activity and physical therapy, but also the help care that comes from the family will contribute to the recovery of mobility.

Most hip fractures are borne by people older than 65. Those who belong to this age group should be very careful to avoid falls.

In most people, the balance fractures in the upper part of the thigh (femur) near the area where the thigh bone joins the hip joint.


1. Overview
2. Symptoms
3. Causes
4. Risk factors
5. Complications
6. Treatment
7. Ways of prevention

2. Symptoms

Signs and symptoms of a hip fracture include:
- Inability of a person to move immediately after a fall
- Severe pain in the hip or groin
- Inability of a person to maintain their body weight on the foot where the fracture occurred
- Stiffness, bruising and swelling
- Shortening the leg on the side where the leg was injured
- Orientation on the outside of the foot where the fracture occurred.

3. Causes

Falls are the leading cause of hip fracture in older adults. As people age, bones become weaker and are naturally prone to breaking, even after a minor trauma. Children and young adults are more likely to experience hip trauma.

Among the causes of hip fractures are mentioned:
- Female sex is more exposed to this kind of fractures
- Presence among the family members of slim and high persons or common cases of fractures among old aged family members
- Unhealthy diet, inadequate intake of calcium and vitamin D
- Lack of activity
- Smoking
- Medical conditions that cause dizziness and balance problems or conditions such as arthritis that can interfere with the body balance
- Use of certain medications that can cause bone loss.

4. Risk factors

Risk factors that may increase the risk of hip bone fracture include:

- Age. The number of hip fractures increases substantially with age. As a person age, bone density decreases, vision and balance become weaker and the reaction time slows down. The combination of these factors may increase the risk of hip fracture.

- Sex. Approximately 80% of hip fracture cases are registered in women. Women lose bone density at an earlier age than men because estrogen levels drop occurs along with menopause, while bone loss accelerates.

- Chronic medical conditions. Osteoporosis is the most important risk factor and best known for hip fractures, and other medical conditions can increase the risk of bone embrittlement. Other conditions include endocrine disorders such as hyperthyroidism and intestinal disorders characterized by low absorption of vitamin D and calcium.

- Certain medicines. Some drugs, usually those used for chronic conditions such as hypertension and asthma have a gradual effect on bone health when used on long term.

- Problems of nutrition. Lack of dietary calcium and vitamin D reduces the bone mass in youth and increase the risk of fractures later in life.

- Lack of physical activity. Some types of exercise with weights and walking helps strengthen bones and muscles and fracture risk will be lower.

- Tobacco and alcohol. Smoking and excessive alcohol consumption can interfere with the normal processes of growth and bone remodeling, resulting in bone loss.

5. Complications

A hip fracture is a serious injury. Although the fracture itself is treatable complications can endanger a person’s life. If a person is suffering from hip fracture, surgery may be necessary.

Your doctor may use an external traction system that allows the hip to heal. The biggest risk when using this system is that it can cause damage and muscle weakness, increasing the likelihood of permanent loss of mobility.

In addition, the system will keep the patient immobilized on long-term, during which he can develop blood clots in leg veins.

Affected veins can be localized to the skin, causing superficial thrombophlebitis or deep into the skin, being localized in the muscles, resulting in deep vein thrombosis.

The risks of traction system using include:
- Blood clots
- Bedsores
- Urinary tract infections
- Pneumonia
- Muscle weakness.

6. Treatment

The doctor will advise the patient to start the physical activity as quickly as possible after surgery. This helps prevent complications such as pneumonia, blood clots and bedsores.

After surgery, it will be difficult for the patient to do one more of the activities, so he may need hospitalization in a rehabilitation center, a period of time after surgery. The more a person will be more active, the more it will recover faster.

7. Ways of prevention

There are many measures that can be taken to prevent a hip fracture. One of the most important ways of prevention of osteoporosis, which can occur in both women and men, is a healthy diet. To slow and prevent osteoporosis:
- Will eat foods high in calcium, milk, cheese, yogurt, dark green vegetables, seafood, almonds, and calcium and vitamin D supplements
- Avoid alcohol and smoking
- Some people will need treatment that will slow the evolution of osteoporosis
- Preventing falls equally important
- Furniture, carpets and electrical cords in the house will be arranged so as to avoid strikes and other accidents
- Will not walk on the ice
- Will wear shoes with sturdy soles
- Will make regular eye checks
- Physical activity for power balance
- Will take medication recommended by the doctor consistently, noting that some drugs such as sleeping pills or painkillers can increase the risk of falls.



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