Perhaps one of the biggest concerns of senior adults as they age is the possibility of a broken hip. Along with the pain associated with such an occurrence comes the fear of disability and even death. Unfortunately, broken hips and the elderly tend to go together, so it’s a good idea to understand the prognosis and complications if your loved one is dealing with this condition.
While it takes a severe impact such as a car accident for a younger person to get a fractured hip, for older adults, a simple fall when they are standing can result in a broken hip, and for those with really weak bones, twisting the wrong way can lead to a fracture.
Over 300,000 people have a hip fracture in the United States each year with the vast majority being over the age of 65. Also, women tend to get hip fractures more often than men. In fact, 70% of all fractures occur in women.
Symptoms of Broken Hip in Elderly
One of the major symptoms of a broken hip is pain. You can experience a great deal of pain in your groin or hip area. In addition, you may notice swelling in the area and even a bruised or reddish color. For some, however, there might just be a vague pain in their back, thigh, or hip.
Complications of a Broken Hip
A broken hip in elderly is nothing to be taken lightly. There can be serious and even life-threatening complications. Most older adults will be immobile for a while. During this period, they are at risk of developing a deep vein thrombosis, which is a blood clot. If the blood clot breaks free, it can travel to their lungs, which is typically fatal.
Additional complications can include pressure sores, atrophy of the muscles, pneumonia, and urinary tract infections.
How to Treat a Broken Hip in the Elderly
For the majority of people, the only treatment for a broken hip is surgery. Those who can’t have surgery due to other medical conditions will be put into traction. The amount of time a person is in traction will depend on how serious the fracture is.
Life Expectancy with a Broken Hip
The elderly broken hip life expectancy is good, but this type of accident does increase one’s chances of dying when over the age of 65. While 4 out of 5 patients will survive a broken hip, one study showed that the overall mortality rate doubled over a 12-year period for those who had suffered from a hip fracture.
The bottom line for you and your loved one is that the broken hip elderly prognosis is good as long as the patient gets timely medical attention and a close eye is kept on possible complications after the surgery. If both are true, then there’s no reason the senior adult in your life that is dealing with a broken hip can’t go on and live a full and rewarding life.