Zsa Zsa Gabor hospitalized with hip fracture

Actress Zsa Zsa Gabor has been hospitalized in Los Angeles for a hip fracture. Ms. Gabor, 93, who suffered a stroke in 2005 and  was partially paralyzed in an automobile accident in 2002, was reaching over to answer the phone when she fell an sustained the injury. She will have to undergo surgery tomorrow to repair it. The Hungarian- American actress, socialite and beauty queen, appeared  in films in the 1950’s, as well as TV specials and game shows. She has been divorced 7 times, and is famously quoted as saying: “I am a marvelous housekeeper. Every time I leave a man I keep his house.”


The hip is a ball and socket joint, which allowing the upper leg to bend and rotate at the pelvis. There are several kinds of hip fractures, but two are most common in the elderly:

* Femoral neck fracture – the break occurs in the femur neck, below the ball of the hip joint. Partial hip replacement surgery (hemiarthroplasty) or total hip replacement is required and is determined by the individual’s overall health and current health conditions.
* Intertrochanteric region fracture – the break occurs below the femur neck, and hip replacement is not required. The bone is repaired through a series of screws and plates placed along the femur.


How big is the problem?

According to the CDC:

  • In 2004, there were more than 320,000 hospital admissions for hip fractures
  • Over 90% of hip fractures are caused by falling, most often by falling sideways onto the hip.

What outcomes are linked to hip fractures?

  • About one out of five hip fracture patients dies within a year of their injury.
  • Most patients with hip fractures are hospitalized for about one week.
  • Up to one in four adults who lived independently before their hip fracture has to stay in a nursing home for at least a year after their injury.

Who is at risk?

  • About 76% of all hip fractures occur in women.
  • Hip fracture rates increase exponentially with age among men and women. People 85 and older are 10 to 15 times more likely to sustain hip fractures than are people ages 60 to 65.
  • Osteoporosis increases a person’s likelihood of sustaining a hip fracture.

Osteoporosis is one of the most common causes of hip fractures in the elderly because it results in the decrease of bone density, impacting the overall strength of the bones. As bone strength decreases and the risk of falling increases with age, the result is an increase of fracture – most commonly seen in the spine, wrist or hip. The issue of osteoporosis and fractures is an important one, and deserves it’s own blog entry. Stay tuned this week.

Mark Boguski, M.D., Ph.D. is on the faculty of Harvard Medical School and is a member of the Society for Participatory Medicine, "a movement in which networked patients shift from being mere passengers to responsible drivers of their health" and in which professional health care providers encourage "empowered patients" and value them as full partners in managing their health and wellness.

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