• Mr Simon Garrett

Hip Fractures: What Happens When You Break Your Hips?



Falls can be one cause of hip fractures, which tends to be more common among older people particularly in their 80s and over. This can be due to their vision being poor as well as due to difficulty in balancing and overall mobility. On top of this, it can be much more difficult for them to protect themselves when they do fall in comparison to someone falling in their younger years.


Experiencing a fall that has resulted in a hip fracture can be traumatic because it can be a shock and extremely painful for the person who has fallen and resulted in a hip fracture.


Interestingly, hip fractures are more common in women, as they are more likely to get osteoporosis which is a condition that makes the bones more fragile and less robust when it comes to falls in particular.


So that you have as much information as possible about broken hips, in this article we will explore:


👉 How broken hips happen

👉 Symptoms of a broken hip

👉 What to do if you think you have broken a hip



How do broken hips happen?

Most hip fractures happen upon severe impact such as a car incident or a fall. 'Stress fractures' can also occur as a result of long distance running, which is common among athletes in particular. However in elderly people, hip fractures can be due to a minor or major fall and even sudden hip movements such as twisting or pivoting can result in a hip fracture. Those who have osteoporosis (weaker bones) are vulnerable to hip fractures and can happen simply by standing on the leg and twisting.



How will you know if you've broken your hips?

Symptoms of a hip fracture as listed on the NHS website following a fall may include:

  • Pain in your hips

  • Inability to lift, move or rotate (turn) your leg

  • Not being able to stand or put weight on your leg

  • Bruising and swelling around your hip

  • An injured leg appearing shorter than your other leg

  • An injured leg turning outwards


It is important to note that a hip fracture will not always cause bruising or prevent you from standing or walking, some hip fractures can be more subtle and symptoms may be more apparent over time. So be sure to note any ongoing or gradual symptoms that you may experience after an incident and see the next session below on what to do if you think your hip is broken.


What to do if you think you have or someone you know has broken a hip

If you think you have a hip fracture or broken a hip, you should go to the hospital as soon as possible. If there is no one around you at the time, call 999 and ask for an ambulance. It is important not to move while you wait, and keep warm because when you fall you may feel shaky and be in shock if you have just experienced a fall or incident.


For more information about falls, visit the NHS website page on 'falls' here and to learn more about hip fractures, click here to go to the NHS 'hip fracture' help page.


 

We hope you found this article on hip fractures useful, if you have any questions about hip fractures you can email us info@hipandkneeconsultant.co.uk or visit our hip surgery page with more useful information. To book an appointment for your hip pain or hip surgery at one of our private clinics, you can also do so by emailing us using the email address above.


Want to read more about hip pain and hip surgery? Find more resources on hips and knees here!