Vestibular function, falls and hip fracture in elderly - A relationship study

Oz Zur, Eli Carmeli, Mordechi Himellfarb, Yitshal N. Berner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Falling is the main reason for which people over 70 arrive at emergency rooms. Over 90% of hip fractures occur as a direct result of falling. Purpose: to examine the relationship between the function of the vestibular system and hip fractures following falls in elderly Subjects and Methods: The research group (n = 84) undergone hip surgery as a result of a fall and were then hospitalized in a rehabilitative geriatric care unit at the Meir Hospital in Kfar Sava. The control group (n=85) - without any history of a hip fracture and living in a retirement home. Four clinical tests were given to each examinee in order to locate any impairment of the vestibular system. Three of the clinical examinations concentrated on testing the VOR while the fourth test was especially used to locate BPPV (Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo). Sociodemographic status and medical history were taken. Results: A significant difference was found between the two groups (those with a hip fracture and those without any hip fracture) with regard to the functioning of the VOR, age, endocrine disease and medications for treating diabetic. However, there was no significant difference found in the appearance of the BPPV. Conclusions: It is important to locate the elderly who are at risk of falling in nursing homes and the community at large by performing the four simple clinical tests. Correct diagnosis and early treatment of the vestibular impairment in elderly patient can prevent the next fall.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)197-202+246
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • Aging
  • Balance
  • Femoral neck fracture
  • Vertigo
  • Vestibulo-ocular reflex

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (all)


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