Long-Term Care

The danger of hip fractures

LTC Nursing Assistant Trainer, April 21, 2011

A hip fracture is a break of the proximal femur where it connects or angles into the hip socket. Most hip fractures occur in the femoral neck, one to two inches from the joint. An intertrochanteric fracture is also common. This injury occurs three to four inches from the joint. Medical morbidity associated with hip fractures in the elderly population is considerable. The functional limitations of survivors can be pronounced. Early repair is associated with a reduction in one-year mortality and lower incidences of complications.

Each year, approximately 350,000 individuals are hospitalized for hip fracture in the United States. Ninety percent of these are the result of falls. Hip fracture is a devastating injury for persons of all ages, particularly the elderly. Only one in four patients recovers completely; 40% will require nursing facility care, 50% will need a cane or walker, and 24% of those over age 50 will die within 12 months of complications.

This is an excerpt from the HCPro book, The Long-Term Care Nursing Desk Reference, Second Edition, by Barbara Acello, MS, RN.

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