Hip Fractures

Breaking the Fall: Understanding and Healing Hip Fractures

Hip fractures are serious injuries that occur in the upper portion of the thigh bone (femur), close to where it joins the hip joint. These fractures are most common among older adults, particularly those with osteoporosis—a condition that weakens bones, making them more susceptible to breaks. However, hip fractures can affect people of all ages, often resulting from high-impact events like car accidents or falls from significant heights.

Symptoms of a hip fracture include severe pain in the hip or groin area, inability to bear weight on the affected leg, bruising and swelling around the hip, and the injured leg may appear shorter or turned outward compared to the other. In some cases, the pain might also radiate to the knee. Immediate medical attention is crucial, as delayed treatment can lead to complications, including blood clots and muscle atrophy.

We Can Help

Diagnosing a hip fracture typically involves a physical examination and imaging tests such as X-rays or MRI scans. These help to confirm the fracture’s presence and determine its exact location and severity, which are key factors in deciding the most appropriate treatment plan.

Treatment often requires surgery to repair or replace the broken part of the bone. The type of surgery depends on the fracture’s nature and the patient’s overall health. Options include fixing the fracture with metal screws, a metal plate and screws, or a hip replacement for more severe fractures. Post-surgery, rehabilitation is crucial to help restore mobility and strength. This usually involves a combination of physical therapy, exercises, and sometimes assistive devices like walkers or canes during the recovery period.

Preventive measures against hip fractures include maintaining healthy bone density through diet and exercise, reducing fall risks in the home, and using protective gear during high-impact activities. Early intervention and comprehensive treatment can significantly improve outcomes, allowing individuals to regain their independence and quality of life.