Preventing Falls and Broken Hips

What is a broken hip - How serious is a broken hip?

The hip joint is a ball and socket joint. The ball is part of the thigh bone (femur) and the socket (acetabulum) is part of the pelvis. A hip fracture occurs when the thigh bone is broken just below the point at which it connects to the pelvis. Most hip fractures require surgery to enable the injury to heal.

Hip fractures are common injuries, most often seen in the elderly, particularly in women. This is due to the fact that as we age, there is a tendency to loose some bone strength making us more susceptible to broken bones.

Whilst the surgical treatment for hip fractures is usually successful, most patients require extended periods of rehabilitation in order to return to their normal level of mobility. Due to the fact that many hip fractures occur in elderly people, it may be complicated by the presence of pre-existing medical conditions. For this reason, the recovery may be slower and some patients who previously lived independently may need assistance in the home environment or may need to live in a care facility while recovery is made. All patients will need to use walking aids such as a walking frame or walking stick for several months following the operation.

Not everyone makes a complete recovery from hip fractures. In fact, in the elderly, hip fractures may be a trigger for a decline in health. About 24 percent of hip fracture patients over age 50 die within 12 months after injury because of complications related to the injury and the extended recovery period.
For this reason, the best form of treatment is prevention. The best way to go about preventing a hip fracture is to identify risk factors and address them before the accident happens.

6 October, 2011