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Hip Fractures in the Elderlies

Hip fractures in older adults requires immediate treatment. The condition could be life-threatening if appropriate treatment is not promptly carried out.

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Hip Fractures in the Elderlies

Thailand is transitioning to become a bona fide aging society. A silent threat in the elderlies is osteoporosis which causes bones, particularly of the hip and spine, to become so brittle that they break easily.

Hip fractures in older adults requires immediate treatment. The condition could be life-threatening if appropriate treatment is not promptly carried out. According to studies, the one-year mortality after hip fractures is as high as 20-35%.

Causes

Often the causes of hip fractures can simply be minor accidents at home such a slip and fall in bathroom or falling out of bed. The incident may appear so mild that hip fracture is not suspected. Because the elderlies tend to have osteoporosis, a trivial injury can lead to unexpected bone fractures.

Symptoms and diagnosis

Seek medical attention if you experience symptoms indicating hip fractures such as hip pain, not being able to move or put weight on the injured leg or the injured leg appearing to be foreshortened. In patients with nondisplaced fractures, the pain or discomfort may be mild and full weight bearing may be possible. But if left untreated, the injury can further aggravate. It is recommended to see your doctor for further investigations. Your doctor will ask you about your medical conditions, perform a physical exam and obtain an X-ray to confirm the diagnosis.

Treatment

The recommended treatment modalities include hip fracture fixation or hip replacement surgery, depending on the type of fractures. According to present-day research, expeditious surgery done within 24-48 hours lead to better outcome, minimizes mortality, and decreases complications from long-term bed confinement.

Delayed treatment can cause the patient to become bedridden and other complications such as pressure ulcers, respiratory infection, urinary tract infection, and deep vein thrombosis which are the leading causes of death.

The aim of hip fracture treatment in the elderlies is to allow patients to regain their usual daily life before hip fractures, treat osteoporosis and prevent recurrent falls.

Article by

  • Dr Waiwit Sanguanwongwan
    Dr Waiwit Sanguanwongwan A Doctor Specializing in Orthopedic Surgeon and Arthroplasty Specialist

Published: 02 Sep 2021

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