Fractures and Broken Bones

If your loved one has a fracture or broken bone, it could be a sign of nursing home abuse.
fractures and broken bones

Nursing home residents are at higher risk for many different types of injuries, including bone fractures.  Isolation, physical limitations, mental disability and other factors contribute to the vulnerability of nursing home residents.

Fractures (broken bones) in nursing homes can happen by accident but in some cases are a warning sign of abuse or neglect.  Do you know how to tell the difference and what to do about a resident’s fracture?  Read on to learn more. 

If you have questions, call 1-866-548-9636 to discuss the specifics of your situation.

Fractures and Broken Bones

What Causes Fractures (Broken Bones) in Nursing Homes?

Falls are the most common cause of fractures among nursing home residents.  In addition to falls, fractures in nursing homes may be caused by:

  • Physical abuse
  • Improper lifting or transferring a resident from their bed
  • Failing to secure a resident’s feet in their wheelchair footholds properly
  • Allowing clutter or heavy objects placed high up or insecurely in the resident’s room or public spaces
  • Failing to provide mobility aids to assist the resident in and out of a wheelchair
  • Inappropriate footwear

When caregivers, nursing home staff or administrators fail to take precautions to safeguard against the hazards that can cause broken bones, they may be legally responsible for resulting injuries.

If you or a loved one have suffered a broken bone while in nursing home care, compensation can help pay your medical bills and make up for the pain and suffering experienced. Call 1-866-548-9636 today to learn more. 

Who Is At Risk?

Nursing home residents may already be at an increased risk of bone fracture due to their health conditions, mobility issues and the natural loss of bone density that occurs with age. However, other factors can increase a nursing home resident’s risk of suffering a broken bone, such as:

  • Women are at greater risk of fractures (broken bones) in nursing homes.
  • Residents with an existing fracture are at increased risk of experiencing another fall and breaking more bones.
  • Those who have suffered a broken bone in the past are more likely to experience another fracture, even after it has healed.
  • Elderly nursing home residents who have osteoporosis or decreased muscle and fat are more likely to break a bone in a fall.
  • Residents with a history of vertigo, dizziness, fainting, dementia, Parkinson’s and other physical and mental health conditions are more likely to experience a fall.
  • Those who wear prosthetics, are missing toes or a foot, or have trouble moving from sitting to standing position (and vice versa) are at risk for falls.

Proper supervision, use of lifts and adequate medication for health conditions can all help reduce the risk of falls and the fractures that result.  It is critical that nursing home staff deals with safety issues immediately.  Hazards such as wet floors, carpet or flooring defects, and ice on sidewalks can all contribute to nursing home resident injuries.

Is There Compensation Available to Fracture Victims?

When fractures in nursing homes are caused by abuse or negligence, we help bring those responsible to justice.  We also help victims recover compensation for their injuries and losses.  Compensation can help with:

  • Medical bills for emergency treatment, x-rays, and ongoing care
  • Physical therapy
  • Mobility and accessibility aids
  • Improvements in care to prevent recurrences
  • Pain management
  • Trauma from pain and suffering
  • Other costs associated with fractures (broken bones) in nursing homes

Each case is unique.  A court of law will consider various factors in determining the types and amount of compensation available.  The severity of the fracture, the circumstances that caused it, who was responsible and more can all factor into the compensation amount.

Call 1-866-548-9636 today to learn more about the types of compensation available to nursing home residents who have suffered broken bones or other injuries due to negligence or abuse.

What To Do in Case of Fractures in a Nursing Home

The first and most pressing concern is to make sure the resident receives proper medical attention immediately.  Request copies of all x-ray and other test results, and any other records produced by the nursing home and/or the medical facility.

Remember that not all fractures present immediately as a broken bone.  If a nursing home resident has fallen or complains of pain, it is important to seek medical care so their injuries can be investigated.  The most common fractures (broken bones) in nursing home residents are:

  • hip
  • femur (thigh)
  • pelvis
  • vertebrae (back)
  • arm
  • hand
  • tibia (shin bone)
  • ankle

Gathering as much information as possible about the fracture is important.  Were nursing home staff present when the incident occurred?  Did a staff member or another resident see the incident?  If no one witnessed the accident, why was the resident alone?

How Fractures Are Treated

In severe cases, a broken bone may require surgery to reset.  Metal pins or screws may also be required to repair the damage.  In other cases, a cast may be necessary to limit mobility and promote healing.

Foot and arm casts can make mobility and personal hygiene more difficult for nursing home residents.  However, casts are not suitable for all types of breaks.  A resident may require traction, adaptive equipment or long periods of immobility to allow the bone to heal. In most cases, a nursing home resident with a fracture needs additional care throughout the healing period.  Especially if mobility is limited, nursing home staff must be mindful of the risk of bedsores.

Accurate, complete documentation is critical in proving cases of nursing home abuse or neglect.  Courts expect to see treatment recommendations from medical professionals and an itemized inventory of the additional expenses incurred as a result of the fracture.  This is key in securing fair, adequate compensation from those responsible.

Call Now to Learn More

You do not have to face nursing home abuse or neglect alone.  Call 1-866-548-9636 to learn more about your rights as a nursing home resident and how you can get compensation to help you through your recovery.

meagan cline

Written By Meagan Cline

Meagan Cline is a professional legal researcher and writer. She lends her expertise to FNHA and our websites, including Birth Injury Guide and