Osteoporosis and Hip Fractures

Friday, November 20, 2009

Hip fractures most often occur in elderly patients and are the result of osteoporosis. Dr. Edward Hill takes a closer look at osteoporosis and hip fractures in todays 60 Second Housecall.

A broken hip can cause discomfort, promote disability and result in loss of independence. Each year in the United States, osteoporosis contributes to approximately 329,000 hip fractures.

Bones are in a constant state of changeremodeling themselves to withstand the stress and strain of daily activity. In osteoporosis, natural bone activity becomes impaired, resulting in excessive bone loss. Bones become thin, weak and more susceptible to fracture. As many as 10 million Americans have osteoporosis.

X-rays do not accurately show bone loss unless the bone loss is severe. A DEXA scan is a specialized x-ray test for measuring bone mineral density and is currently used to make the diagnosis of osteoporosis. Individuals with low bone mineral density are at high risk of fracture.

Hip fractures are treated with orthopedic surgery that corrects problems related to muscle, bones and joints. Surgical options involve stabilizing the fracture site with hardware or performing a joint replacement.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Im Dr. Edward Hill.