Phone: (561) 840-1090
Fax: (561) 840-0791
Email: info@OrthoCareFL.com

Providing the Highest Quality of Orthopaedic Care
Dedicated to Restoring Active Lifestyles
Minimally Invasive Joint Replacement Procedures
Caring and Comprehensive Hand, Elbow and Shoulder Treatment
Experience, Compassion, State-of-the-art Technology
Back to Life with Expert Spine Care
Multidisciplinary Orthopaedic Care

Hip Fractures

A hip fracture is more than a broken bone. If you are older, breaking your hip can mean a major change in your life. You will likely need surgery, and it can take as long as a year to recover. Activity and physical therapy can help you get your strength and mobility back. You are likely to need support from family or a caregiver as you recover.

A hip fracture is a serious injury, particularly if you’re older, and complications can be life-threatening. Most hip fractures occur in people older than 65, with the risk increasing most rapidly after age 80.

Older people are at higher risk of hip fracture because bones tend to weaken with age. This bone weakening is called osteoporosis. Multiple medications, poor vision and balance problems also make older people more likely to trip and fall — one of the most common causes of hip fracture.
A hip fracture almost always requires surgical repair or replacement, followed by months of physical therapy. Taking steps to maintain bone density and prevent falls can help prevent hip fracture.

What is a hip fracture?

Falls cause most hip fractures in older adults. As you get older, your bones naturally lose some strength and are more likely to break, even from a minor fall. Children and young adults are more likely to break a hip because of a bike or car accident or a sports injury.

Other things that increase your risk of breaking your hip include:

  • Being female- Women lose bone density at a faster rate than men do.
  • Chronic medical conditions. Osteoporosis is the most powerful risk factor for hip fracture, but other medical conditions may lead to fragile bones. These include endocrine disorders, such as an overactive thyroid, and intestinal disorders, which may reduce your absorption of vitamin D and calcium.
  • Your family history—being thin or tall or having family members who had fractures later in life.
  • Certain medications. Cortisone medications, such as prednisone, can weaken bone if you take them long term.
  • Medical conditions that cause dizziness or problems with balance, or conditions such as arthritis that can interfere with steady and safe movement.
  • Nutritional problems. Lack of calcium and vitamin D in your diet when you’re young lowers your peak bone mass and increases your risk of fracture later in life.
  • Physical inactivity. Weight-bearing exercises, such as walking, help strengthen bones and muscles, making falls and fractures less likely.
  • Tobacco and alcohol use. Smoking and drinking alcohol can interfere with the normal processes of bone building and remodeling, resulting in bone loss.

How can you prevent a hip fracture?

There are many things you can do to prevent a hip fracture. One of the most important is to prevent osteoporosis and preventing falls is also very important.

Surgery:

The type of surgery you have generally depends on the location of the fracture in the bone, the severity of the fracture and your age. Surgical

options may include:

  • Repair with hardware. Surgeons may insert metal screws into the bone to hold it together while the fracture heals. In some cases, screws are attached to a metal plate that runs down alongside the femur. Another option is to insert a rod, known as a nail, into the marrow part of the thigh bone. A screw then passes through the upper part of the rod, through the femoral neck and into the ball portion of the hip joint.
  • Replace part of the femur. If the ends of the broken bone aren’t properly aligned or they’ve been damaged, your doctor may remove the head and neck of the femur and install a metal replacement (prosthesis). This procedure is called a partial hip replacement.
  • Replace the entire hip joint. A total hip replacement involves replacing your upper femur and the socket in your pelvic bone with artificial parts called prostheses. Total hip replacement may be a good option if arthritis or a prior injury has damaged your joint, affecting its function even before the fracture.
    (Read more on Total Hip Replacement)

You will probably need surgery to fix your hip. The type of surgery you have will depend on where the break is and how bad it is. Surgery usually works well but, you will need to be patient as getting better will probably take some time.