Elderly Parent? Learn About Hip Fractures

Hip fractures are common among the elderly, and each year, at least 250,000 people aged 65 and older are hospitalized for hip fractures. Because your parent is elderly, it could possibly happen to them.  Below is some information about the causes of hip fractures, how it is treated, and the recovery process.

Causes of Hip Fractures

There are many things that can put your parent at risk of having a hip fracture including:

  • Osteoporosis:  Bones become weak with this disease, which means they can beak or fracture much easier.
  • Smoking: Smoking causes bone loss, which increases the risk of a hip fracture due to a fall or other injury.
  • Home environment: Having a lack of grab bars, stair railings, and poor lighting can be a risk factor.
  • Medications: Your parent may be on medication that makes them feel off balance or dizzy. Talk with your parent's doctor about any medications they take.

Treatment for Hip Fracture

The treatment your parent will receive will depend on the type of hip fracture they have.  One type of hip fracture is the femoral neck fracture. The femoral neck is located below the ball and socket of your parent's hip joint. If the fracture is in this area, surgery will be required. This is because the fracture blocks blood flow to the fractured part of the hip. The doctor may choose to do a partial or total hip replacement.

Another type of fracture is the intertrochanteric region fracture. This is just below the femoral neck where the two bones of the thigh bone juts out. In most cases, the hip fracture will be between these two bones. The doctor can repair this under spinal or general anesthesia in most cases and will not have to do a hip replacement.

Hip Fracture Recovery

How your parent will recover depends on the type of surgery they received. This can be a lengthy process. Once they have spent a few weeks in the hospital, they may be sent to a rehabilitation center to stay for another few weeks. Your elderly parent will see a therapist a few times per week once they go home. It is important that there is a family member with them at all times until they are completely recovered. You do not want your parent to fall again, making the problem even worse.

For more information, contact United Senior Services home health care providers or a similar organization.