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You are here : 3-RX.com > Medical Encyclopedia > Injuries and Wounds > Hip Fracture
      Category : Health Centers > Bones, Joints, and Muscles

Hip Fracture

Alternate Names : Broken Hip

Overview, Causes, & Risk Factors | Symptoms & Signs | Diagnosis & Tests | Prevention & Expectations | Treatment & Monitoring

A hip fracture is another term for a broken hip. It is a complete or partial break in the top part of the thighbone. The thighbone, also called the femur, inserts into the hip joint.

What are the causes and risks of the injury?

A broken hip is most often the result of an injury. Falls and car accidents are the most common sources of these injuries. Factors that increase a person's risk of hip fracture include:

  • normal aging, which causes the bones to become more brittle
  • osteoporosis, or excess bone thinning that results from loss of calcium in the bone
  • menopause. During menopause, the ovaries stop making estrogen, which normally protects against bone loss.
  • removal of the ovaries
  • diet low in calcium or vitamin D
  • sedentary lifestyle
  • eating disorders such as anorexia and bulimia
  • family history of osteoporosis
  • medications such as corticosteroids, certain medications for seizures, and some medications used for high blood pressure
  • excess alcohol intake
  • smoking
  • hyperthyroidism, a condition in which the thyroid gland makes too much thyroid hormone
  • hypogonadism, a condition in which the ovaries in women or testes in men do not function normally
  • hyperparathyroidism, a condition in which the parathyroid gland makes too much parathyroid hormone. This hormone can affect calcium levels in the bloodstream and weaken bone further.
  • rheumatoid arthritis, a condition in which the body attacks its own joint tissue
  • cancers affecting the bone
  • physical abuse, including child abuse, elder abuse, and spousal abuse


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    Hip Fracture: Symptoms & Signs

    Author: Gail Hendrickson, RN, BS
    Reviewer: Eileen McLaughlin, RN, BSN
    Date Reviewed: 07/13/01

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