A hip fracture can be sustained after a fall, an accident or a sudden jerking movement of the hip. As you get older, your risk of suffering a hip fracture increases. In fact, a majority of hip fractures happen in elderly individuals. Symptoms of hip fractures include severe pain and the presence of bruising and swelling in the hip area as well as the inability to move the hip.
Hip fractures need immediate medical attention. Without proper treatment, hip fractures can become life-threatening – this is especially true for the elderly. Complications associated with hip fractures include loss of muscle mass, weakened bones, and blood clots due to being immobile for long periods of time.
Hip Fracture Treatment Methods
Treatment for hip fractures is almost always surgery with conservative methods, such as physical therapy as part of the rehabilitation plan.
The surgical methods used to treat a hip fracture are either a hip repair or a hip joint replacement, depending on the severity of your injury. Surgery is almost always scheduled immediately following diagnosis if there are no other health conditions that need to be treated first.
Hip Repair Surgery
The surgical procedure to fix a hip fracture is called internal fixation or hip pinning, and it requires general or local anesthesia. The orthopedic surgeon’s goal is to stabilize your broken hip bone with the use of screws, nails, rods, and plates. The reason for this is to ensure your hip bones heal properly. Hip repair surgery takes anywhere between two to four hours to complete. Any pain you feel afterward will be eased by prescription pain medication. Hip repair surgery usually requires a hospital stay for a few days to ensure that your hip bone heals properly. Soon after your surgery, you will begin physical therapy to help in the healing process as well as to strengthen your hip.
Partial or Total Hip Replacement Surgery
In a hip replacement procedure, the damaged parts of the hip are replaced with artificial parts. These artificial replacements take on the duty of damaged joint components, so you can resume function of the hip. A partial hip replacement involves the replacement of only the damaged parts of the hip, whereas a total hip replacement involves the replacement of the hip socket and the top part of the thigh bone. Hip replacement surgery is either done traditionally or with minimally invasive techniques. It is usually recommended when the hip joint is damaged beyond repair. This can be due to arthritis or a severe injury that has rendered the natural hip irreparable.
With minimally invasive hip replacement surgery, the replacement procedure is done with smaller incisions, using a camera device and miniature surgical tools. Patients spend less time in the hospital and have shorter recovery periods with minimally invasive surgery.
Treatments for Hip Fractures in Tennessee
The orthopaedic surgeons at Watauga Orthopaedics are experts in the diagnosis and treatment of bone fractures, including hip and knee fractures. We are highly trained and experienced in the most advanced treatments for hip fractures, from hip repair to minimally invasive hip replacement.
To schedule a consultation with us, call Watauga Orthopaedics at (423) 282-9011 or send us an appointment request. We look forward to helping you heal.