What is it: A hip fracture is a break in the upper quarter of the femur (thigh) bone. The extent of the break depends on the forces that are involved.
Important Facts: Hip fractures most commonly occur from a fall or from a direct blow to the side of the hip. Some medical conditions such as osteoporosis, cancer, or stress injuries can weaken the bone and make the hip more susceptible to breaking. In severe cases, it is possible for the hip to break with the patient merely standing on the leg and twisting.
A large proportion of fall deaths are due to complications following a hip fracture. One out of five hip fracture patients dies within a year of their injury.
Statistics: In 2007, there were 281,000 hospital admissions for hip fractures among people age 65 and older.
Over 90% of hip fractures are caused by falling3, most often by falling sideways onto the hip.
In 1990, researchers estimated that by the year 2040, the number of hip fractures would exceed 500,000. However, since 2000, the annual number of hip fractures has remained relatively constant.
From 1990 to 2006, hip fracture rates declined significantly in men age 85 and older and in women age 75 and older. It is not known what factors are contributing to this trend.
In 1991, Medicare costs for hip fractures were estimated to be $2.9 billion.
In both men and women, hip fracture rates increase exponentially with age. People 85 and older are 10 to 15 times more likely to sustain hip fractures than are those age 60 to 65
Treatment Duration: Treatment typically includes surgery and hospitalization, usually for about one week, and is frequently followed by admission to a nursing home and extensive rehabilitation. Up to one in four adults who lived independently before their hip fracture remains in a nursing home for at least a year after their injury.
Do’s/Don’ts: Most people who suffer a fracture, don’t get appropriate tests done to determine if they have osteoporosis. 95% of adults who break a bone are, typically treated without being evaluated for osteoporosis. So if you have a fracture, get a bone mineral density test done.
Common Myths: Myth 1: “Populations which consume a very high amount of dairy get more hip fractures than those which don’t.”
I am sorry to disappoint the true believers, but it is just the opposite! People who avoid animal protein believing that they are saving their bones are in fact increasing the risk of osteoporosis. The following study found that women who consumed the most animal protein (+43%) had only one-fifth risk of hip fractures:
23% higher consumption of carbohydrates was associated with 3 times higher rate of fractures!