Elbow Issues

Hip Fractures

Causes
Injury is an obvious cause of hip fractures. In the elderly population, an injury can result from something as simple losing one’s balance and falling to the ground. While many hip fractures probably occur this way, it is also true that the fall may have happened as a result of fracturing the hip. The hip actually breaks first, causing the person to fall.

Osteoporosis can weaken the neck of the femur to the point that any increased stress may cause the neck of the femur to break suddenly. An uncertain step may result in a twist to the hip joint that places too much stress across the neck of the femur. The femoral neck breaks, and the patient falls to the ground. It happens so quickly that it is unclear to the patient whether the fall or the break occurred first.

Symptoms
A hip fracture, like any broken bone, causes pain. The fracture makes putting weight on the leg extremely difficult. When a hip fracture occurs in an aging adult who lives alone, it may be hours before anyone finds the patient. The patient sometimes cannot get to the phone to alert anyone. This is the first life-threatening situation. This situation can result in dehydration, or if the fracture occurs outside in a cold environment, the patient may develop hypothermia. Both of these conditions can be deadly.