Hip fractures in young adults: a retrospective cross-sectional study of characteristics, injury mechanism, risk factors, complications and follow-up

Michael T. Wang, Sarah H. Yao, Phillip Wong, Anne Trinh, Peter R. Ebeling, Ton Tran, Frances Milat, Nora Mutalima

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Summary: This study characterises risk factors, complications and follow-up of minimal trauma hip fractures in young adults, adding to limited information examining the management framework. This group have severe systemic disease and significant risk of post-operative complications and subsequent fractures. Improved medical referral pathways enable management of osteoporosis and comorbid diseases. Aims: There is a paucity of literature examining minimal trauma hip fractures in young adults, despite extensive management guidelines for older patients. This study aims to characterise risk factors, complications and follow-up of hip fractures to guide management pathways. Methods: This is a retrospective study of patients presenting with hip fracture to a single institution from 2009 to 2015. Hip fractures were identified using ICD-10 codes and clinical information documented from medical records. Patients were categorised into minimal trauma (MTF) and high-energy fracture (HEF) groups based on mechanism of injury. Results: Of 2512 patients admitted with hip fracture, 2.5% (n = 62) were aged 15–49 years. Two patients were excluded with pathological fractures, and seven were excluded with no recorded mechanism of injury. MTF occurred in 43 patients and 10 sustained HEF. These groups had similar demographics, fracture locations and treatments. The MTF group had higher American Society of Anaesthesiologists scores (MTF 2.44 ± 0.9; HEF 1.43 ± 0.5; p = 0.025) and higher rates of chronic endocrine disease (MTF 34.9%; HEF 0%; p = 0.046). Rates of post-operative surgical (MTF 24.0%; HEF 12.5%) and medical complications (MTF 27.8%; HEF 12.5%) were high in MTF patients. Subsequent fractures occurred in five (13.9%) MTF patients during the study period compared with none in the HEF group. Only 16 (44.4%) of the MTF patients were referred to endocrine care. Conclusion: Young adults with MTF of the hip have more severe systemic disease and are at risk of post-operative complications and subsequent fractures. Referral of patients to endocrine care is recommended to manage osteoporosis and comorbid diseases.

Original languageEnglish
Article number46
JournalArchives of Osteoporosis
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2017


  • Adult
  • Follow-up
  • Fracture
  • Hip
  • Minimal trauma
  • Neck of femur
  • Osteoporosis
  • Young

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