A hip fracture is a serious health injury requiring typical surgical repair or replacement and rehabilitation. If you have a hip fracture, you should seek prompt evaluation from an orthopedic surgeon, who will recommend the best course of treatment to help you heal successfully.
Let’s talk about the causes of hip fracture, treatment options, and where to go for exclusive orthopedic care.
What Causes a Hip Fracture?
Hip fractures can occur at any age, but they are more frequent in old ages. Reduced mobility or vision, balance problems, and multiple medications-induced falls are the risk factors of a hip fracture. However, its incidence is much higher in people with osteoporosis, a bone weakness condition that makes the bones brittle or fractured.
Hip fractures can also result from severe impacts, such as a car crash or falling from a ladder. In osteoporosis patients, it may occur simply by bending awkwardly or standing on the leg and twisting.
Symptoms of a Hip Fracture
A hip fracture can develop several symptoms, including:
- Severe pain (in the hip or groin) and sometimes referred pain to the upper knee
- Bruising/swelling around the affected hip
- Inability to lift, move, rotate, or bear weight on your leg on the affected side
- Inability to walk or to get up from a fall
- Your leg appears shorter on the side of your injured hip
- your leg turns outwards on the affected side
If you are able to walk, there is typically worsening pain in the buttock or groin with weight-bearing and walking.
Evaluating a Hip Fracture
It is recommended to seek immediate medical attention for a hip fracture. If left untreated, a hip fracture can be life-threatening.
Your doctor will carry out a thorough physical evaluation and request diagnostic imaging tests to evaluate a hip fracture, such as an Xray, MRI, or CT scan.
During the physical evaluation, your doctor can often determine whether you have a hip fracture based on your symptoms and the abnormal position of your hip and leg. A majority of hip fractures have some fracture displacement; however, a stress fracture or a nondisplaced fracture may have no obvious deformity.
An X-ray can confirm if there is a fracture and its location. However, an MRI or CT scan may also be necessary to diagnose a hairline fracture or other condition, if the X-ray doesn’t show an obvious fracture.
Most hip fractures occur in the femur – the long bone that extends from your pelvis to your knee. A fracture may occur in the femoral neck (the upper portion of the femur, just below the joint), or in the intertrochanteric region (the ridged area slightly farther down from the hip joint).
Hip Fracture Treatment
A combination of surgery, rehabilitation, and medication is a must for a hip fracture. However, surgery also depends on various factors such as:
- The location and severity of the fracture
- Whether the bones are displaced
- Your age
- Overall health/underlying health conditions
- Bone and joint condition
Surgical options may include:
- Internal repair, which uses screws, rods or plates to hold the bone together.
- Partial hip replacement, where the head and neck of the femur are removed and replaced with an artificial component, named prosthesis.
- Total hip replacement, where both the upper femur and the socket (in the pelvic bone) are replaced with artificial parts (prostheses).
Rehabilitation Following Hip Surgery
Rehabilitation following hip surgery is the key to restoring functional capability and reducing complications. If a hip fracture prevents you from being mobile for a long time, it can lead to complications such as blood clots, bedsores, and further loss of muscle mass, increasing your risk of falls and injuries.
Physical therapy is an integral part of rehabilitation following surgery. It uses a variety of techniques to promote healing and improve strength, function, and range of motion in the hip. It can include:
- Manual therapy techniques (for joint and soft tissue mobilization)
- Customized progressive exercise programs
- Pain relief modalities
- Patient education
Occupational therapy may also be recommended to help you learn techniques for independence in daily life, such as bathing, dressing, and cooking. Mobility aids, such as a walker or wheelchair, may be recommended initially to help you regain mobility and independence.
Hip Fracture Treatment in Bristol, Johnson City, and Kingsport,TN
If you are looking for high-quality orthopedic care, visit the professional orthopedic doctors at Watauga Orthopaedics today. We provide a comprehensive service for various orthopedic disorders, including hip, knee, shoulder, hand, foot, ankle, and spine conditions.
To find out more about our services, or to schedule an appointment, contact us today at (423) 282-9011, or you can use our convenient online request form. Visit us at one of our offices in Johnson City, Kingsport, and Bristol.