Causes of a hip fracture 

In older people, most hip fractures are due to falls, often in the home.

Hip fractures that occur in younger people are usually the result of serious accidents, such as a fall from height or a car crash.

About three out of 10 people who are 65 years of age or over will have at least one fall a year. Half of all people aged 80 or over will have at least one fall a year.

Falls are common in older people because they're more likely to have other health problems that increase their risk of falling, such as:


A fall can lead to a hip fracture if your bones are weak due to a condition called osteoporosis.

From about 35 years of age, you gradually lose bone density (how solid the bone is). This is a normal part of the ageing process, but for some people it can lead to osteoporosis.

Healthy bones are very dense and the spaces inside the bones are small. But in osteoporosis the spaces become much larger making the bones weaker, less flexible and more likely to break.

Read more about osteoporosis.

Page last reviewed: 18/07/2014

Next review due: 18/07/2016