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Home |  Blog |  Elderly At Risk For Hip Fractures

Elderly At Risk For Hip Fractures

A broken hip or hip fracture is a serious injury that commonly affects the elderly. The elderly are usually affected due to having weaker bones, and a hip fracture (for elderly) commonly occurs after a slip and fall accident. The term “broken hip” usually refers to a break at the top of the femur or the acetabulum that contains the hip socket.  The acetabulum is the part of the pelvis that forms the hip socket where the top of the femur forms the ball.  This is why the hip joint is referred to as a ball-and-socket joint.

Elderly At Risk For Hip Fractures

The elderly are at high risk due to a condition known as osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is a disease that causes bones to become weak and brittle by reducing bone mineral density. Weaker bones and a traumatic or  acute injury, like a fall creates an environment where “hip fractures” are highly probable.  Even a fall that is seemingly insignificant may cause a fracture, and unfortunately most people are not aware they have osteoporosis until they have suffered a broken bone.

Treating A Broken Hip Bone

A broken hip is most commonly treated with surgery. Depending on the severity of the injury and the type of fracture, the surgery may include screws or plates that will help hold the bones together, or in other cases – a total hip replacement may be needed. A hip replacement will replace the hip joint with artificial implants. There are various types of implants that are made of different materials. The type of implants used will depend on multiple factors, like the age of the patient and where the fracture occurred.

Preventing Hip Fractures

Hip fractures are high-risk  injuries for the elderly due to weak and brittle bones. Osteoporosis is often the culprit causing a loss of bone mineral density.  There are some lifestyle changes that can help to prevent osteoporosis, for instance changing your diet and exercising can play a big role in preventing osteoporosis and keeping your bones strong.  However the best ways to prevent such injuries is to be regularly seen by an orthopedic physician.  An IBJI physician will be able to use a bone density scan to test your bones and determine your risk of fractures.  If you get a bone density scan, your doctor may be able to get you on a treatment plan that prevents or slows down the process of osteoporosis.

Find An IBJI Physician Close To You

Hip replacement surgery is one of the most common procedures performed by orthopedics due to the high number of hip fractures. If you would like more information on how to prevent osteoporosis and avoid serious hip injuries, contact an IBJI physician and make an appointment today.