Suffering a broken hip is one of the most-dreaded types of injury among the elderly. This is because hip fractures can result in permanent disability or even death.
A hip fracture occurs when there is a break in the top quarter of your thighbone (femur). There is no such thing as a “hip bone” because the hip comprises the upper femur and pelvic bones together – and a break in the pelvic bone is considered a broken pelvis, not a broken hip.
A broken hip is classified according to the type and specific location of the break. Let’s take a look at the main types of hip fractures and their possible treatment options.
Classifications of a Hip Fracture
The following are the most common types of hip fractures. Approximately 90% of hip fractures are in the first two categories:
Femoral Neck Fracture
At the top of your thighbone is a “ball” which fits perfectly into the socket in the pelvic bone. The ball is called the femoral head, and right below it is the femoral neck – which is a thinner section of bone. This is the most common location for a hip fracture.
A femoral neck fracture may tear the adjacent blood vessels, thereby impeding blood flow. This type of fracture is much more prevalent in the elderly, who naturally have a lower bone density than do younger people. This type of broken hip also often occurs in postmenopausal women, who are highly susceptible to developing osteoporosis.
Intertrochanteric Hip Fracture
An intertrochanteric fracture occurs between your greater and lesser trochanters, which are the bony protrusions on your femur immediately below the femoral neck. An intertrochanteric hip fracture is caused by a severe impact, such as from a car accident. It can also be a result of a fall from a standing height.
The most complex of the three types of hip fracture is a subtrochanteric fracture, which is a break that occurs in the femur just below the lesser trochanter. This is an area of the hip which is particularly prone to compressive and tensile loads (compression and tension).
Counterintuitively, the long-term use of bisphosphonates – which are prescribed to treat osteoporosis – actually increases your risk of subtrochanteric hip fractures.
Orthopedic Surgeons in Johnson City, Kingsport, and Bristol, TN
Hip fractures require immediate medical attention and treatment. Here at Watauga Orthopaedics, our highly trained and experienced healthcare providers can diagnose and treat hip fractures of all kinds. Our state-of-the-art medical procedures, such as hip resurfacing and hip replacement, along with nonsurgical options like physical therapy, viscosupplementation injections, and platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy, will help put you on the path to recovery and healing.
We have offices located in Johnson City, Kingsport, and Bristol for your convenience. If you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment with a member of our orthopedic medical team, contact our friendly staff today by calling us at (423) 282-9011 or by filling out our easy-to-use appointment request form online now. We look forward to helping you stay strong and healthy!