Hip Fracture Symptoms

According to the Mayo Clinic, hip fractures can occur at any age, but most hip fractures occur in people older than 65. This occurs because bones lose mineral density as we age, which causes bones to become weak and more susceptible to fracture. According to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons (AAOS), more than 850 hip fractures occur a day that require surgery. In addition, experts predict a future epidemic of hip fractures because of the aging population. Therefore, look for these symptoms and seek immediate medical treatment if you suspect a hip fracture.

Severe Pain

Severe pain will be the first sign of a hip fracture, the Mayo Clinic says. The pain is in the hip or groin area and is achy and throbbing. You may also feel or hear a “pop” or a “snap” before the onset of your hip pain. The pain is worse when standing or walking on the side of your injured hip. You may have a broken hip, especially if you experience pain along with a “pop” or “snap.” Seek immediate medical treatment.


If you fractured your hip, you’ll likely experience severe stiffness, bruising and swelling, the Mayo Clinic says. This occurs because a fractured hip can cause internal bleeding from the bone that is fractured. In addition, surrounding blood vessels may also be damaged from the trauma of the fracture. Rapid swelling requires immediate medical treatment, because internal bleeding can be life threatening. Call 911 if you experience this symptom. Avoiding excessive movement while waiting for medical treatment prevents further damage.

Shorter Leg

The Mayo Clinic says you may notice a shorter leg of the side of the injured hip. This occurs because the large muscles of your upper leg contract and can pull your upper leg above the fracture of your hip. You may also notice that your fractured leg is turning outward. Call 911 immediately, because paramedics will need to apply a traction splint to re-align your fractured hip. This type of splint greatly reduces your pain and prevents further damage to the blood vessels, nerves and other soft tissues in your hip once applied.

About this Author

Jacques Courseault, M.D., began writing professionally in 2007. He is currently the fitness editor for Dr.Gourmet.com, founder and writer of ExerciseMenu.com, and co-founder of Don’t Weight to Lose. He is a resident in physical medicine and rehabilitation. Dr. Courseault received his bachelor’s degree in psychology at Tulane University, and is a graduate of Tulane University School of Medicine.