Fractures of the hip remain one of the most important causes of morbidity and mortality in the elderly individual. These injuries can rob the elderly of their independence. The number of hip fractures is expected to grow exponentially over the next 30 years. The mortality after a hip fracture in the elderly can be as high as 25% within the first year. There are several options for treating fractures of the hip. The preferred method in younger, more active individuals is the reduction of the fracture and fixation with some form of hardware to maintain the patient’s own hip joint. In less active patients with more displaced fractures, total hip replacement is an option to alleviate pain and improve function, and in the very elderly, a unipolar or partial hip replacement is the preferred method for displaced fractures of the hip. The key to minimizing the risks of hip fracture include maintaining bone density, continuing a regular exercise program, and avoiding situations that can increase the risk of falling.
— William P. Barrett, MD