Who is More Prone to Hip Fractures?

Getting older comes with a variety of challenges for both men and women, especially where bone health in concerned. The hip is a particularly vulnerable part of your anatomy due to its unique construction and function, and damage to it can be life altering. Maintaining your bone health and understanding your risks for hip injury can help you avoid hip surgery as you age.

Age

Regardless of gender, hip fractures more typically occur in adults over 50. Anyone who has broken bones earlier in life should be particularly vigilant about their bone health, since broken bones are a possible indicator of poor bone density or strength.

Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis is a disease in which you lose bone density over time, or your body does not replenish bone tissue as it should. This condition causes brittle bones that become increasingly breakable as the disease progresses. Osteoporosis is more prevalent in women as they age since menopause leads to reduced levels of the hormones that aid in preserving bone density. For that reason, post-menopausal women are much more likely to suffer hip fractures and undergo hip surgery than are men.

Medications

As people age, their medicine cabinet can take on a life of its own. It is important to understand how any medication affects your body, but is particularly critical when discussing bone health. Many common medications can cause bone loss, leaving you vulnerable to breakage. These include chemotherapy drugs used in cancer treatment, antacids with aluminum, steroids, anti-depressants, and certain contraceptives. You will need to be especially watchful if you are on more than one of these medications at the same time. Regular bone density scans and consultation with orthopaedic surgeons should be part of your medical routine in this case.

Other Risk Factors

Many other diseases and lifestyle traits can be predictors of the potential for hip fracture, including dementia, individuals with a sedentary lifestyle, smokers, excessive drinkers, and those with any impairment or weakness in mobility. Even a minor fall for someone in these categories can result in a fracture requiring hip surgery and rehabilitation. Some patients may die from complications related to a hip fracture.

The hip joint is susceptible to breakage even in individuals with good health, but having risk factors such as those identified above can greatly increase your chance of a hip fracture. Consult your orthopaedic professional to discuss how to minimize your risks.

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