Hip fractures, mostly in the neck of the femur, are a very common consequence of falling in over 65s. There are approximately 20 000 hip fractures each year in Australia in this age group. In fact, by the age of 80, 1 in 3 women and 1 in 6 men will have sustained a hip fracture. The economic cost of this is huge. The human cost, however, is arguably greater. At 12 months after a fractured hip, we are seeing the following:
o 10% will have gone on to fracture the other hip
o 30% are readmitted to hospital
o 50% are left with permanent functional disabilities
o 25% require long-term care
o 10-25% (depending on the study you read) will have died.
These statistics are massive, and quite depressing. Fractured hips are resulting in the premature death of many Australians, and many more have a much reduced quality of life. However, evidence shows falls and injuries from falls can both be reduced by about a third with falls prevention interventions. With increased public awareness on the importance of falls prevention and the engagement of over-65’s in falls prevention programs, we can reduce the incidence of falls and the disastrous consequences like hip fractures.
Physiotherapist and advocate for healthy ageing