Tests and diagnosisBy Mayo Clinic Staff
Often your doctor can determine that you have a hip fracture based on your symptoms and the abnormal position of your hip and leg. An X-ray usually will confirm that you have a fracture and show exactly where the fracture is on your bone.
If your X-ray doesn't show a fracture but you still have hip pain, your doctor may order an MRI or bone scan to look for a small hairline fracture.
Most hip fractures occur in one of two locations on the long bone that extends from your pelvis to your knee (femur):
- The femoral neck. This area is located in the upper portion of your femur, just below the ball part (femoral head) of the ball-and-socket joint.
- The intertrochanteric region. This region is a little farther down from the actual hip joint, in the portion of your upper femur that juts outward.
A third type of hip fracture, called an atypical fracture, can occur in people who have been treated for a long period of time with medications that enhance bone density (bisphosphonates).
March 11, 2015
- Foster KW. Hip fractures in adults. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Dec. 30, 2014.
- Marx JA, et al. Rosen's Emergency Medicine: Concepts and Clinical Practice. 8th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Mosby Elsevier; 2014. Accessed Dec. 30, 2014.
- AskMayoExpert. What are risk factors for hip fracture? Rochester, Minn.: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; 2014.
- Ferri FF. Ferri's Clinical Advisor 2015: 5 Books in 1. Philadelphia, Pa.: Mosby Elsevier; 2015. https://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Dec. 30, 2014.
- Reeve J, et al. The fragile elderly hip: Mechanisms associated with age-related strength and toughness. Bone. 2014;61:138.
- Kiel DP. Falls in older persons: Risk factors and patient evaluation. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Dec. 30, 2014.
- Beaupre LA, et al. Maximizing functional recovery following hip fracture in frail seniors. Best Practice & Research Clinical Rheumatology. 2013;27:771.
- Wirth CD, et al. Subclinical thyroid dysfunction and the risk for fractures: A clinical review and meta-analysis. Annals of Internal Medicine. 2014;161:189.
- Lewiecki EM. Prevention of osteoporosis. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Dec. 31, 2014.
- Hip fractures among older adults. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/homeandrecreationalsafety/falls/adulthipfx.html. Accessed Dec. 31, 2014.
- Morrison RS, et al. Medical consultation for patients with hip fracture. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Dec. 30, 2014.
- Takahashi PY (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Jan. 5, 2015.
- Canale ST, et al. Campbell's Operative Orthopaedics. 12th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Elsevier Mosby; 2013. http://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Dec. 30, 2014.
- Rosen HN. The use of bisphosphonates in postmenopausal women with osteoporosis. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Dec. 30, 2014.
- Hip fractures. American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00392. Accessed Dec. 31, 2014.
- Fiatarone Singh MA. Exercise, nutrition, and managing hip fracture in older persons. Current Opinion in Clinical Nutrition and Metabolic Care. 2014;17:12.
- Falls and factures. National Institute on Aging. http://www.nia.nih.gov/sites/default/files/falls_and_fractures_0.pdf. Accessed Dec. 31, 2014.
- Osteoporosis: The Bone Thief. National Institute on Aging. http://www.nia.nih.gov/health/publication/osteoporosis. Accessed Dec. 31, 2014.