The Causes Of Hip Fractures And How To Reduce The Risk

December 27th, 2019 Becki Andrus

Anatomy Of The Hip

As you progress through your daily activities you are depending on your hip joint when you make many different movements. Not only does it maintain the stability that is necessary to support your weight, but it also provides you with the mobility that you need when making those various movements.

The hip is located at the point in which your thigh bone- which is also referred to as your femur – joins your pelvis. The pelvis itself is comprised of three bones – the ilium, the ischium, and the pubis. These bones form the socket, which connects the ball that can be found at the top of your femur. This forms the ball and socket joint that is your hip.  

The hip joint is usually fully capable of functioning properly. However, there are conditions that can emerge which will impact the hip joint such as arthritis, bursitis, and tendonitis.

Arthritis is an inflammation that occurs with the hip, and the likelihood increases with the aging process. This also involves the degeneration of the cartilage that normally supplies a cushion for the bones.

Bursitis emerges when the sacs of liquid that protect your bones from rubbing against tendons and muscles become inflamed due to repetitive use. That creates discomfort.

Tendonitis also develops due to an inflammation that can impact the tendons. In addition to these conditions, some individuals experience hip fractures, which can become a challenging health issue.

Causes Of Hip Fractures

There are three different types of hip fractures, and they each involve a break that emerges in the thigh bone or femur. Some fractures occur in the femoral neck, which is located below the femoral joint. Other fractures can develop at an area that is located further down the hip joint, at an area that is referred to as the intertrochanteric region.

A large percentage of hip fractures occur as a result of a fall. According to the National Council On Aging (NCOA), falls are the primary cause of both fatal and non-fatal injuries that develop with older individuals in the U.S.

The NCOA also states that one in every four Americans who are aged 65 or older will fall every year. It has also been stated that older adult receives treatment at an emergency room every 11 seconds, and falls are also the primary cause of fatal injuries. In fact, an older adult dies from a fall every 19 minutes.   

When these falls do occur, they can also become life-changing events in certain situations. A significant fall can cause a fracture will also prohibit the patient from continuing to live independently. That will create financial and personal challenges for the individual and their families.    

The U.S. Centers For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has stated that over 300,000 individuals in the U.S. become hospitalized for hip fractures. The CDC has also stated that over 95% of fractures occur as a result of falling. These issues occur with more frequency in women than men,

Factors That Increase The Risk

The likelihood of experiencing a fracture after a fall, or due to repetitive use increases if you are underweight. The risk also increases if you are not exercising with enough frequency, or if you are not consuming enough calcium or vitamin D. The potential for a fractured hip also rises with excessive consumption of alcohol or smoking.

Steps To Reduce The Risk

Fortunately, there are steps that can be taken to reduce the possibility of experiencing a fractured hip. Exercise is always critical regardless of situation and age, and a daily walk will improve strength and balance.  The ability to avoid excessive alcohol will be beneficial, which is also true if you abstain from smoking.

The need for a sufficient amount of calcium and vitamin D was just mentioned. Men and women age 50+ should consume 1,200 milligrams of calcium each day, along with 600 milligrams of vitamin C. It is also important to maintain eye exams on an annual basis.  


There are multiple symptoms that can emerge when a hip fracture has occurred. If you experience a fall and are unable to move, then this provides an indication that a hip fracture has taken place. This is also true if you are unable to place any weight on your hip or your leg on the side where an injury has occurred. Any bruising or stiffness can also reveal that a fracture has taken place. If you notice that one leg appears shorter, this is also an indication of a fractured hip. One final symptom is any type of severe pain in your hip.

What A Doctor Will Do

If you are contending with any of these symptoms it is important that you visit a doctor. During your appointment, your physician will ask a series of questions in order to determine your medical history, along with the specifics surrounding the cause of your pain. This will include any information related to a fall or any other type of injury. He or she will likely order x-rays, an MRI, or possibly a bone scan.

In some cases, the treatment plan will involve a nonsurgical approach. But in many situations, a hip fracture will require surgery. The specific type of surgery will be determined by the degree of seriousness with the fracture, along with the location of the fracture.

At Orthopedic Associates, We Are Here To Help

If you are experiencing pain in your hip, or if you have any questions or concerns about your hip or any other area of your body, the experienced and knowledgeable staff at Orthopedic Associates is ready to assist you. We are dedicated to making sure that you can return to pain-free participation in the activities and lifestyle that you prefer.  

That is why Orthopedic Associates offers a full spectrum of musculoskeletal care, along with in-house physical sports therapy, and state-of-the-art-technology including our digital imaging and open MRI, and an on-site surgical center for more patient convenience.

Our board-certified doctors have been practicing medicine for a combined total of 183 years of experience. This includes expertise in personalized care and treatment for a vast range of conditions with the hip. These conditions include:

  • Anatomy of the Hip Joint
  • Avascular Necrosis (AVN) of the Hip
  • Bursitis of the Hip (Trochanteric Bursitis)
  • Degenerative Joint Disease of the Hip (Osteoarthritis of the Hip)
  • Femoral Fractures
  • Femoral-Acetabular Impingement (FAI)
  • Hamstring Muscle Injuries
  • Hip Dislocation
  • Hip Fracture/Prevention
  • Iliotibial Band Syndrome (ITBS)
  • Inflammatory Arthritis of the Hip
  • Labral Tears of the Hip
  • Loose Bodies in the Hip
  • Muscle Strain Injuries of the Hip
  • Osteoarthritis of the Hip
  • Osteomyelitis
  • Pediatric Femoral Fractures
  • Perthes Disease
  • Slipped Capital Femoral Epiphysis (SCFE)
  • Snapping Hip Syndrome
  • Sports Hernia
  • Transient Osteoporosis of the Hip

At Orthopedics Associates we are also extremely experienced in performing various treatments and surgeries for the hip. These include:

  • Absorbable Antibiotic Bead Treatment for Osteomyelitis
  • Anesthesia
  • Arthroscopic Surgery for Femoral-Acetabular Impingement (FAI)
  • Bone Cement Injection
  • Bone Density Scan (DXA or DEXA)
  • Cold Laser Therapy
  • Computed Tomography (CT) Scan
  • Computer-Assisted Hip Replacement Surgery
  • Core Decompression for Avascular Necrosis of the Hip
  • Femur Fracture Fixation
  • Fluoroscopic Guided Hip Injection
  • Hip Arthroscopy
  • Hip Fracture Treatment with Surgical Screws
  • Hip Hemiarthroplasty (Bipolar/Unipolar)
  • Internal Screw Fixation for Slipped Capital Femoral Epiphysis (SCFE)
  • Large Bearing Metal-On-Metal Mini Total Hip
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
  • Mini Total Hip Replacement
  • Osteoporosis Screening
  • Periacetabular Osteotomy
  • Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) Injection Ove
  • Positron Emission Tomography (PET) Scan
  • Revision Hip Surgery
  • Stem Cell Therapy for Avascular Necrosis of the Hip
  • Surgical Dislocation and Debridement for FAI
  • Total Hip Replacement
  • Total/Partial Hip Resurfacing
  • Ultrasound-Guided Ilioinguinal Nerve Block

We encourage you to visit one of Orthopedic Associates two locations or request an appointment today to be on your way to feeling better.

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