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Complications of Hip Fractures

Information about hip fracture complications

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Updated April 11, 2014

Complications are very common in patients who sustain a hip fracture. One of the most important reasons for performing surgery on patients who have a hip fracture is to help prevent these complications. By getting patient up and out of bed as soon as possible, the risk of complications is diminished.

High Complication Rates After Hip Fracture

Mortality rates in the first year following a broken hip are around 25%, and the rates are highest in older populations. The cause of mortality following a hip fracture is often due to blood clots, pneumonia, or infection. Furthermore, only about 25% of patients who sustain a broken hip return to their pre-injury level of activity.

The majority of patients who sustain a hip fracture will require prolonged specialized care, such as a long-term nursing or rehabilitation facility. About one year after a patient sustains a broken hip, mortality rates return to normal, but a patient who previously sustained a hip fracture is at higher risk of breaking their hip again.

 

Treatments for osteoporosis are available, and will help elderly individuals avoid serious complications of this disease such as a broken hip.

Treatment of a hip fracture is dependent on the age of the patient, other medical problems the patient may have, and the location and type of fracture. The two most common types of hip fractures are called intertrochanteric fractures, and femoral neck fractures. Because of differences in anatomy and post-operative complications associated with these two types of hip fractures the treatments are different.

Sources:

KJ Koval and JD Zuckerman; "Hip Fractures: I. Overview and Evaluation and Treatment of Femoral-Neck Fractures" J. Am. Acad. Ortho. Surg., May 1994; 2: 141 - 149.

KJ Koval and JD Zuckerman; "Hip Fractures: II. Evaluation and Treatment of Intertrochanteric Fractures" J. Am. Acad. Ortho. Surg., May 1994; 2: 150 - 156.

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