For seniors, which happens first: the fall or the broken hip?
According to the Center for Disease Control, adults over 65 years of age suffer at least 258,000 hip fractures each year. A fracture to the hips happens when the uppermost quarter of the femur breaks. It usually appears near the ball-and-socket portion of the bone. One-fifth of these patients who suffer a hip fracture die within the year following the fracture.
For many seniors, a hip fracture is a life-changing event for them and for their family. The recovery of a hip fracture is a long and slow process usually taking over a year and requiring extensive rehabilitation. Depending on the type of surgery, rehabilitation is extensive.
When a fall occurs and a broken hip, there is usually a need for surgery. There are several types of surgery. A femoral neck fracture happens when the breaks occur in the femoral head.
The time of recovery and rehabilitation will depend on the type of fall, and, as a consequence, the type of fracture. It is also determined by the age and fragility of the patient, and how bad the bone is displaced.
So, what comes first?
Now, tripping or falling is not always the cause of a broken hip. In fact, some falls may happen because there is already a broken hip. The reason why the patient was unaware is that the event occurs in a process. This process is a manifestation of an underlying condition. This condition can include cancer, osteoporosis or stress injuries.
In some cases, the bone is so weakened that just turning or twisting can make the bone fracture. Doctors believe that the frequency of falls because of a bone fracture is more often than people realize.
One effective way of detecting a possible condition causing brittle bones is a test known as Bone Density Test.