What is Hip Fractures?

A hip fracture is a significant orthopaedic injury characterised by a break in the upper portion of the femur, the long bone that extends from the hip to the knee. This type of fracture typically occurs as a result of a fall or direct trauma to the hip region. The forces involved in such incidents can exceed the structural integrity of the femur, leading to a fracture that requires prompt medical attention.

Several factors contribute to the increased risk of hip fractures, especially among certain demographics. One prominent factor is osteoporosis, a condition characterised by decreased bone density and weakened bone structure. Osteoporosis makes bones more fragile and prone to fractures, and the hip is particularly vulnerable due to its weight-bearing function and the stresses it undergoes during daily activities.

Furthermore, conditions such as cancer can also impact bone health, either through direct invasion of bone tissue or as a consequence of treatments like chemotherapy that can weaken bones. Additionally, repetitive stress injuries, often seen in athletes or individuals engaged in physically demanding occupations, can gradually weaken the bone structure over time, predisposing the hip to fractures with less forceful impacts.

Elderly women are disproportionately affected by hip fractures compared to other demographics. This is partly due to the higher prevalence of osteoporosis in postmenopausal women, where hormonal changes contribute to bone loss. Additionally, age-related changes in balance, muscle strength, and coordination increase the risk of falls, which are a common precipitating factor for hip fractures in the elderly population.

Patients typically experience severe hip pain, often localised to the injured area. There is also an inability to bear weight on the affected leg due to pain and instability. Moreover, a history of a recent fall or direct trauma to the hip region is often reported, providing important context for understanding the mechanism of injury.

Immediate medical evaluation and intervention are essential for hip fractures to ensure proper diagnosis, pain management, and appropriate treatment, which may involve surgical repair with internal fixation devices like screws or plates. Post-operative rehabilitation and physical therapy play crucial roles in restoring mobility, strength, and function to the affected hip, especially in elderly individuals who may face challenges in recovery due to age-related factors.

Here at Precision Health we offer services such as chiropractic care which can aid in your recovery from hip fractures.

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