It is possible to break your hip at any age. However, hip fractures most often occur in people over age 65. The slow but steady loss of bone density weakens bones making older people more vulnerable to a hip fracture. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says more than 90 percent of hip fractures among older adults are due to falls. Several common symptoms indicate you may have fractured your hip.
Hip Fractures are Serious
A hip fracture is a serious injury that can severely impact the quality of life. Women are more prone to hip fracture since they lose bone density at a swifter pace than men do.
In older adults, complications that result from a hip fracture are potentially fatal. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says approximately one out of five hip fracture patients dies within one year of their injury. Surgery is largely effective for a hip fracture, but recovery can be long and difficult.
The National Osteoporosis Foundation says osteoporosis was responsible for an estimated 297,000 hip fractures in 2005. While a hip fracture is usually the result of a fall or fragile bones in older adults, when it happens to younger people, it is more often due to a car accident or a sports injury. A variety of symptoms may indicate a fractured hip.
The primary and most obvious symptom of hip fracture is severe hip pain. People also tend to experience soreness in the groin when they place weight on the hip. In serious cases, a person may be in such excruciating pain that she is unable to move. Walking or standing can intensify the pain.
Numbness, Tingling and Immobility
When a hip is fractured it may be hard to move the hip, particularly when attempting to extend the foot outward or bend at the hip. The fracture may make the hip seem too weak to lift the leg. You may also notice a numbness or tingling sensation in the hip. In addition, the leg on the side of your fractured hip may appear shorter.
Swelling and Bruising
When a hip is fractured, it may swell or bruise. The area may even have a deformed look to it. Some people will notice a definite stiffness in the affected hip. When it appears likely that you have fractured a hip, immediate medical attention is needed.
Surgery is the most effective treatment for a hip fracture. The only exception might be if you have an illness that makes surgery too dangerous. The specific type of surgery you will undergo is determined based on your age, the part of the hip that fractured and the severity of the fracture.
According to the Mayo Clinic, a 2007 study in the "New England Journal of Medicine" found that annual infusions with the intravenous medication zoledronic acid (sold as Reclast or Zometa) might be a beneficial treatment for hip fractures.
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