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All it takes is one misstep and a fall, and suddenly you’re in excruciating pain and unable to walk because you’ve fractured your hip.

While it’s true that hip fractures are fairly common, affecting about 300,000 people every year, that doesn’t mean that they’re easily treated. To stabilize your hip joint and treat the break, you will most likely need surgery. That may include the use of metal hardware, such as titanium pins and screws in your bone, to keep the hip joint in place. If the joint itself is too badly damaged, you may need to have it replaced with an artificial hip.

Aside from the pain and recovery time, the additional complications caused by a hip fracture include:

  • Reduced mobility, which can lead to muscle-wasting and the loss of muscle mass and bone mass
  • An unsteady gait, especially if you have a hip replacement, which can lead to additional falls
  • Blood clots in your legs or lungs from the reduced physical activity and the extended healing time in bed following surgery
  • Pneumonia or post-operative infections that can quickly spiral out of control
  • Mental deterioration (particularly in older adults) due to the lifestyle disruption, stress and other factors
  • Bedsores from lying too long in one position as you recover from surgery
  • Necrosis in the bones of your leg if the blood supply to that part of your body is reduced for too long

Ultimately, the consequences of a hip fracture from a fall can be devastating. The older you are, the harder it may be to recover. If your fall was caused by the negligence of a property owner who didn’t exercise enough care toward others, you may be entitled to compensation that will help provide for your needs and cover your losses.