BOSTON, MA – A byproduct of the children’s game that has become an inexplicable epidemic among our baby boomers, a study newly published in the New England Journal of Bones has once again named hopscotch the number one leading cause of hip fractures, morbidity, and mortality in the elderly population.
“It’s inevitable that when one of those little old ladies or genial old gents has to land on a lateral square, a leg buckles and something cracks,” commented orthopedic surgeon Dr. Brock Hammersley, who has repaired 9 hopscotch-induced femoral neck fractures (HIFNF) this week alone. “These days, the phrase ‘ground-level fall’ is practically anonymous with hopscotch. Who knew such a benign little game could wipe out our parents and grandparents so swiftly.”
Hopscotch is a children’s game typically played on the playground with the help of some chalk and a small object like a rock, coin, or bean bag. For reasons unclear, hopscotch has been reborn – referred to as EH for elder hopscotch – replacing bridge and pinochle as the entertainment of choice for people ages 65 and over. Though it’s initial fun and games, it doesn’t take long for ambulance sirens to pull up to a nursing home with yet-another broken long bone as a result of hopscotch gone completely awry.
Interestingly enough, the “elite” masters of EH tend to be nonagenarians, or people who are 90 to 99 years old, and they rarely sustain hip fractures, which seems counterintuitive.
“Though their bones are extra brittle if not totally osteoporotic, [the nonagenarians] can somehow crush younger elders in EH without breaking a bone or even tweaking a muscle,” explained Hammersley, as he rubs his biceps. “We plan to conduct more studies on these bone-superior nonagenarians.”
As for those elders under the age of 90, orthopods like Hammersley recommend against EH if you can help it.
“Unless you’re ready to talk about end of life, palliative care, and hospice,” insisted Hammersley, “for the love of Pete, stick to word-search puzzles and crosswords. Family members, please! Please don’t let a loved one play hopscotch.”