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Hip Fractures are Devastating & Costly

For many older adults and their families and caregivers, the risk of falling and suffering a hip fracture is a source of ongoing anxiety.

And rightly so—hip fracture is one of the most devastating and costly health issues impacting older adults.  Often life-altering, hip fractures affect not only the victim's physical health but also his or her quality of life and independence

Hip Fracture Facts

  • At least 20% of hip fracture patients die within one year of their injury1
  • A further 25-30% suffer long-term disability, requiring nursing home care for up to a year or more
  • Many are never able to return home, or if they do are dependent on others, especially family members, whose lives may thus also be significantly affected
  • Fear of falling often causes older adults to limit their activity, leading to reduced mobility, weakness, and increased fall risk
  • The average cost for inpatient hip fracture care is about $29,000 per episode at least, not including the significant additional cost of skilled nursing care2


A Growing Challenge

Hip fractures account for about 300,000 U.S. hospital admissions among people age 65 and older.3, 4  With more than 10 million people in the U.S. at risk for a hip fracture5—primarily due to osteoporosis, age, and/or frailty—it is no wonder that the problem has been called a "growing crisis," especially with the steady aging of the population. Importantly, while more common in women due to osteoporosis, the gender difference in hip fracture lessens with advancing age. 

Hip protectors can help prevent hip fractures, a devastating injury impacting far too many older adults.

Given the magnitude of the problem, considerable effort has been devoted to fall prevention programs in nursing homes and hospitals, as well as the administration of drugs to improve bone strength, and exercise to maintain muscle strength and mobility.

Despite these measures however, falls resulting in hip fractures continue to occur at an alarming rate.  With one in three adults over age 65 experiencing a fall each year and fractures continuing to wreak havoc in the lives of those who suffer them, it is clear that more needs to be done to decrease the risk of this devastating injury. 

Hip Protectors—The Ultimate Defense Against Hip Fractures

Not surprisingly, greater attention is now being given, especially by nursing homes and other healthcare providers, to the ultimate defense—hip protectors.  These garments, with pads designed to absorb or disperse the energy associated with a fall onto the hip, not only help reduce the risk of hip fracture, but also may improve self-confidence and lead to improved mobility and daily function.


  1. Leibson C, Tosteson A, Gabriel S, Ransom J, Melton L. Mortality, disability, and nursing home use for persons with and without hip fracture: A population-based study. J Am Geriatr Soc. 2002;50:1644–1650.
  2. Quigley P, Campbell R, Bulat T, Olney R, Buerhaus P, Needleman J. Incidence and cost of serious fall-related injuries in nursing homes. Clin Nurs Res. 2012;21:10–23.
  3. Hip Fractures Among Older Adults. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; 2010.
  4. Hall M, DeFrances C, Williams S, Golosinskiy A, Schwartzman A. National Hospital Discharge Survey: 2007 Summary. National Health System Reports. 2010(29).
  5. Clinician's Guide to Prevention and Treatment of Osteoporosis. Washington, D.C.: National Osteoporosis Foundation;2010.