There are few injuries that inhibit mobility and quality of life more than a fractured hip. In fact, all too often -- nearly a quarter of the time for people over age 50 -- a fractured hip leads to death due to complications in the year following the fracture [source: AAOS].
Hip fractures actually occur in the femur, near the "ball" at its end that fits into the hip socket. While the femur is one of our strongest bones, age-related calcium loss in the femur (as well as every other bone of the body) makes it increasingly vulnerable to fracture.
Hips are one of the most common bones to break, and the most frequently broken bone for people over the age of 65, who account for around 90 percent of hip fractures [source: Mayo Clinic]. Around 80 percent of those fractures occur in post-menopausal women, who are at higher risk due to osteoporosis [source: Mayo Clinic]. Women over 65 have a 20 percent chance of eventually breaking a hip [source: Civista Health].
Since the majority of fractured hips result from falls, conditions such as Alzheimer's disease, arthritis and vision impairment increase a person's risk of hip fracture.
Following a fall, immobility and severe pain are primary symptoms of a fractured hip. Treatment often involves surgery, which requires the use of metal screws, or partial or full hip replacement, and a lengthy period of rehabilitation. Some who fracture hips will need to use a cane or walker for the rest of their lives.
Keep reading to learn about another commonly broken bone that leads to the temporary estrangement of the foot and the leg.