Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine



My mother died from complications after a simple hip fracture last year. Does this happen very often?


Most hip fractures aren't really "simple" even though that word is used to describe the fracture. A simple hip fracture often refers to the fact that the break is only through part of the bone or only in one place.

It's often used to mean there aren't pieces of bone broken off. It may describe a fracture in which the ends of the bone are still lined up and not displaced to one side or the other.

About two percent of the patients with a hip fracture die while in the hospital. Hip fractures often occur in older adults with many other problems. They may have kidney, heart, or lung problems. They often have diabetes and osteoporosis.

Bleeding, infection, pneumonia, and blood clots are the most dangerous complications after hip fracture. Often older adults have two or more medical problems at the same time. Death can occur from any one of these problems.

Roger Cornwall, MD, et al. Functional Outcomes and Mortality Vary Among Different Types of Hip Fractures. In Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research. August 2004. Vol. 425. Pp. 64-71.

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