Hip Fracture

Fractures of the hip often occur just below the ball of the hip (femur). They usually result from a fall or direct hit (trauma). If the hip fracture passes through the entire bone (complete), the two bone fragments have the potential to shift out of proper alignment (displaced). Hip fractures may occur in athletes of all ages. However, they are rare in younger people and tend to occur in older athletes.

SYMPTOMS

CAUSES

RISK INCREASES WITH:

PREVENTION

PROGNOSIS

If treated properly, hip fractures usually heal within 6 to 12 weeks. Healing is not considered complete until there is no pain or motion at the fracture site, and x-rays (radiographs) show complete bone healing (union).

RELATED COMPLICATIONS

TREATMENT

If the fracture is displaced, it must be put back in alignment (reduced) immediately, which requires surgery. For severe fractures, the hip may not be able to be realigned, and it is necessary to replace the bones with either a partial or total hip replacement. Surgery will allow the patient to become mobile in less time, due to screws and pins that are stabilizing the fracture. If the fracture is non-displaced, and surgery is not required, bed rest with traction or a body cast for 6 to 8 weeks can be expected. After initial treatment, ice and medicines will help reduce pain and inflammation. To limit pressure on the fracture, crutches are often given, with instructions to either be partial or non-weight bearing on the affected leg. It is important to know that restraining any part of the body for a long period of time can cause muscle loss, joint stiffness, orfluid build up in the tissues (edema). After a period of restraint, physical therapy may be required to regain strength and range of motion.

MEDICATION

SEEK MEDICAL CARE IF: