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Hip Fracture

  • Cynthia M. Johnson, MA
Publication Type:


Hip Fracture


A hip fracture is a break in the thigh bone just below the hip joint.

Hip Fracture.

Nucleus factsheet imagehttp://services.epnet.com/getimage.aspx?imageiid=73927392si55551698.jpgsi55551698.jpgNULLjpgsi55551698.jpgNULL\\hgfiler01a\intellect\images\si55551698.jpgNULL16NULL2008-11-07220390198400Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.


A hip fracture is caused by trauma to the bone, such as from a fall or a car accident.

Risk Factors

A hip fracture is more common in older adults. Things that may raise the risk are:

  • Health problems, such as:
    • Osteoporosis
    • A prior fracture
    • Heart, hormone, and kidney disorders
  • Certain medicines, such as antidepressants and proton pump inhibitors
  • Lack of activity
  • Alcohol use disorder
  • Smoking
  • Poor nutrition


A hip fracture may cause:

  • Groin and thigh pain
  • A leg that looks shorter or turns outward
  • Problems putting weight on the hip


The doctor will ask about symptoms and past health. A physical exam will be done. It will focus on the hip and leg. This may be enough to suspect a hip fracture.

Pictures will be taken of the hip. This can be done with:


It can take 3 months or longer to heal. It depends on how severe the fracture is and the person's overall health. The goal of treatment is to help the bones heal properly to prevent long term problems.


Most fractures are due to accidents. Healthy bones and muscles may help prevent severe injury. A balanced diet and regular exercise can keep bones strong.





  • Hip fracture. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/hip-fracture.
  • Hip fracture prevention. Ortho Info—American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons website. Available at: https://orthoinfo.aaos.org/en/staying-healthy/hip-fracture-prevention.


  • Laura Lei-Rivera, PT, DPT
Last Updated:

This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.