Introduction. Geriatric hip and femur fractures occur at a rate of more than 300,000 per year and are expected to reach 500,000 by 2040.
Frequency. The incidence of femoral shaft fractures ranges from of 9.5 to 18.9 per 100,000 annually. Approximately 250,000 proximal femur fractures occur in the United States annually. This number is anticipated to double by the year 2050.
A femur break is a serious break at any age but it can be deadly to seniors that are 65 years and older. The femur is the longest bone in the body. Femur breaks/fractures are most likely at the hip but in some cases can be at the lower extremities.
Femoral neck fracture. This type of fracture is common among older adults and can be related to osteoporosis. This type of fracture may cause a complication because the break usually cuts off the blood supply to the head of the thighbone, which forms the hip joint.
The most common fractures in older adults are vertebral fracture from compression or trauma, followed by hip and distal radius fractures.
A fractured femur is an emergency that can in some cases be life threatening. Seek immediate medical care (call 911) if you, or someone you are with, have any of these life-threatening symptoms including: Confusion or loss of consciousness for even a brief moment. Heavy or uncontrollable bleeding.
The most common types of femoral shaft fractures include: Transverse fracture – The break is a straight horizontal line going across the femoral shaft. Oblique fracture – The fracture has an angled line across the shaft. Spiral fracture – The fracture line encircles the shaft like the stripes on a candy cane.
Conclusion: Surgery is the treatment of choice for patients aged 90 years and older with proximal femoral fracture. However, they have a lower rate of regaining pre-injury walking ability and a higher in-hospital death rate than younger patients.
Even if you do break a bone, remember that plenty of older adults do make a full recovery and get back to their normal lives. Take quick action. Some fractures are emergencies — including skull, neck, back, hip, pelvis and upper leg fractures — and warrant a call to 911.
Most femoral fractures take about 4 to 6 months to heal completely, but you should be able to resume many activities before this time.
Your thighbone (femur) is the longest and strongest bone in your body. Because the femur is so strong, it usually takes a lot of force to break it. Motor vehicle collisions, for example, are the number one cause of femur fractures. The long, straight part of the femur is called the femoral shaft.
The distal femur is where the bone flares out like an upside-down funnel. The distal femur is the area of the leg just above the knee joint. Distal femur fractures most often occur either in older people whose bones are weak, or in younger people who have high energy injuries, such as from a car crash.
As we age, our bone density and muscle mass typically decrease. Common conditions like osteoporosis, which causes bones to become brittle and weak, make hip fractures more likely following a fall. Older patients are also more likely to have a fall since they often have decreased mobility and balance.
According to Cheng, “An 80 year old often can’t tolerate and recover from trauma like a 20 year old.” Cheng’s team found that approximately 4.5 percent of elderly patients (70 years and above) died following a ground-level fall, compared to 1.5 percent of non-elderly patients.
Most fractures in older people are caused by the combination of weak bones (such as from osteoporosis) and a fall. As you get older, your bones get weaker from natural bone tissue changes. After menopause, the decline in the female hormone estrogen also makes your bones thinner.
Fractures occur in elderly people because of skeletal fragility. Appendicular fractures are usually precipitated by a fall. Falls account for 90% of hip fractures, and the risk of falling increases with age.