- Reduced mobility, independence, and ability to do daily activities
- Moving into long-term care facilities, like nursing homes
- Chronic pain
- Worse quality of life
- Higher risk of death
The Most Common Types of Fractures
There are several types of fractures:
- Simple (closed). The broken bone stays within your skin.
- Compound (open). The broken bone tears through skin.
- Incomplete (greenstick or hairline). The crack in the bone does not go all the way through the width of the bone.
- Complete. The bone breaks all the way across the bone.
This type of fracture comes from a very small impact, such as while doing daily activities or from a small fall. A healthy younger person would not have a fragility fracture.
One in four men and one in two women over age 50 will break a bone due to osteoporosis. This disease makes bones fragile. Osteoporosis affects people of all ethnic backgrounds. More than 2 million people in the United States have fractures related to osteoporosis.
How Common are Fractures?
Fractures happen more easily as people age. A person age 85 or older is four times more likely to break a bone than a person between the ages of 65 and 75.
Older adults are most likely to suffer fractures of the:
- Hip or pelvis
- Wrist or arm
- Bones in the spine or backbone (vertebrae)
- Leg or ankle
Up to 300,000 older adults break their hips each year. Ninety percent of the time a fall causes these fractures. The risk of death is about 25 percent in the year after a hip fracture. About three-quarters of people who survive a hip fracture go back to their prior ability level. Half of them may have some limitations on their mobility and need a cane or walker to get about. About 25 percent of survivors are in long-term care a year after their hip fracture.
Last Updated December 2022
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