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- Motor vehicle accidents and other types of major trauma
- Sporting activity that places excess stress on the hip—can lead to stress fractures (rare)
- Previous hip fracture or history of falling
- Age: 65 years or older
- Family history of fractures later in life
- Small-boned, slender body—low body weight
- Osteoporosis —a bone-thinning condition that weakens all bones
- Poor nutrition
- Deficient intake or absorption of calcium and vitamin D
- Physical inactivity
- Kidney disease
- Cortisone or other steroids
- Thyroid disorder
- Low testosterone in men
- Bone conditions such as osteomalacia—rare
- Bone tumors—rare
- Poor balance and coordination
- Excessive alcohol use
- Irregular heart beat or low blood pressure
- Chronic disease or fragile health
- Parkinson's disease
- History of stroke
- Problems with vision
- Heart failure
- Mental impairments including Alzheimer’s disease
- Certain medications which cause lightheadedness, drowsiness, or weakness
- Pain in the hip
- Difficulty or inability to stand, walk, or move the hip
Abnormal appearance of the broken leg:
- Looks shorter
- Turns outward
- Misalignment of the bone—some fractures can make pieces of the bone move out of place, if it heals this way it can cause problems with movement
- Interruption of blood flow to the bone—some fractures may slow or block blood flow to the bone which can lead to severe damage
- Fractures that are initially stable may become unstable
- Insertion of surgical plates and screws to realign the bones and/or support the fractured area. The bone will be able to heal more securely.
- Hip replacement—damaged areas of bone are removed and metal devices are inserted in their place. This surgery is reserved for those with severe bone injury or disease. More common in older adults.
- Ask your doctor if any of your medications may contribute to bone loss or symptoms of lightheadedness, drowsiness, or confusion.
- Get your eyes checked regularly.
- Clean spills and slippery areas right away.
- Remove tripping hazards such as loose cords, rugs, and clutter.
- Use non-slip mats in the bathtub and shower.
- Install grab bars next to the toilet and in the shower or tub.
- Put in handrails on both sides of stairways.
- Walk only in well-lit rooms, stairs, and halls.
- Keep flashlights on hand in case of a power outage.
FamilyDoctor.org—American Academy of Family Physicians http://familydoctor.org
OrthoInfo.org—American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons http://orthoinfo.org
Canadian Orthopaedic Association http://www.coa-aco.org
Canadian Orthopaedic Foundation http://www.canorth.org
Hip fracture. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated April 24, 2013. Accessed September 17, 2013.
Hip fracture prevention. American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons website. Available at: http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00309. Updated January 2013. Accessed September 17, 2013.
Ly, Thuan V and Swiontkowski, Marc F Management of femoral neck fractures in young adults. Indian J Orthop. 2008 Jan-Mar; 42(1): 3–12 Available at: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2759588/.
11/6/2009 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed: Sennerby U, Melhus H, Gedeborg R, et al. Cardiovascular diseases and risk of hip fracture. JAMA. 2009;302(15):1666-1673. van Diepen S, Majumdar SR, Bakal JA, McAlister FA, Ezekowitz JA. Heart failure is a risk factor for orthopedic fracture: a population-based analysis of 16,294 patients. Circulation. 2008;118(19):1946-52.
1/4/2011 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed: Lee JS, Buzková P, Fink HA, et al. Subclinical thyroid dysfunction and incident hip fracture in older adults. Arch Intern Med. 2010;170(21):1876-1883.
4/24/2014 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed: Ward RJ, Weissman BN, et al. ACR Appropriateness Criteria for acute hip pain: suspected fracture. Available at: http://www.acr.org/~/media/ACR/Documents/AppCriteria/Diagnostic/AcuteHipPainSuspectedFracture.pdf. Published 2013. Accessed April 24, 2014.
- Reviewer: Michael Woods, MD
- Review Date: 02/2014 -
- Update Date: 04/24/2014 -
This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.
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