Hip Fracture Treatment in Long Island

A hip fracture is a break in the upper part of the thigh bone (femur) where the bone angles toward the hip joint. The hip is a "ball-and-socket" joint where the "ball" at the top of the thigh bone (femur) fits inside the "socket" of the pelvis (acetabulum). It allows the upper leg to bend and rotate. Most hip fractures are caused by falls or an injury from direct impact to the side of the hip. Hip fractures are more common in elderly adults as a result of osteoporosis or bones that have weakened over time.

screen showing x-ray of hip bone, joint highlighted red to represent fracture

In addition to advanced age, factors such as certain medications, chronic medical conditions, or a history of heavy tobacco and alcohol use, may weaken bones and make individuals more susceptible to hip fractures.

What Are the Symptoms of a Hip Fracture?

Immediately after a hip has fracture, the individual may find it difficult to stand and may experience the following symptoms:

  • Severe pain in the hip and groin
  • Bruising
  • Swelling
  • Inability to put any weight on the leg

The leg may appear shortened or turn outward on the side of the injured hip.

Diagnosis of a Hip Fracture

A hip fracture is diagnosed after a physical examination of the hip and leg as well as imaging tests that may include X-rays, CT scans or MRI scans. Imaging tests allow the physician to identify the exact location of the fracture and determine the severity of the broken bone.

How Can OALI Treat My Hip Fracture?

Treatment for a hip fracture often involves surgery. The surgical procedures may vary depending on the severity of the fracture, but may include:

  • Surgery to insert screws and rods to hold the bone together
  • Total hip replacement
  • Partial hip replacement

Hip replacement surgeries involve replacing part of the femur bone or hip socket with prosthetic devices. After surgery, a physical therapy program is created to help the individual regain flexibility, increase range of motion and strengthen the hip and leg.

In rare cases, stable hip fractures may be treated through prolonged immobilization and bed rest. However, these instances are uncommon, and this form of treatment is usually only considered when the patient is too ill to undergo surgery.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Causes a Hip Fracture?

Hip fractures can be caused by a number of things. They are most commonly caused by slips and falls and can occur in the elderly with osteoporosis. However, hip fractures can also be caused by trauma, which can include being involved in a car accident or sustaining a sports injury.

Who is More at Risk of a Hip Fracture?

Elderly adults, specifically those 65 or older, are usually at the highest risk of having a fractured hip. Women are also more likely to experience a hip fracture than men. This is because women tend to lose more bone density as they age. People who suffer from osteoporosis and have a history of falling may have an increased risk of a hip fracture.

Who Are Not Good Candidates For Hip Fracture Surgery?

Anyone who has poor general health, such as heart disease, lung disease, or infections, may not be suitable candidates for hip fracture surgery. Elderly people with severe health issues or who are frail are not good candidates for this operation due to the increased risk of complications.

How Are Hip Fractures Treated?

Hip fractures can be treated through a variety of methods.

Below are the different types of treatment methods for hip fractures:

Surgical Repair - Most hip fractures typically require surgery to stabilize the bones. There are multiple types of surgical techniques to correct the issue. These include internal fixation, hip replacement, and external fixation. The technique used depends on the severity of the fracture.
Non-surgical Treatments - Depending on the severity of the fracture and the patient, non-surgical treatments may be considered. These treatments can include traction, which is when pulleys and weights are used to gently realign the hip bones, pain management, and mobility aids.

How Can I Prevent Hip Fractures?

There are various ways you can prevent a hip fracture from occurring, which can be changing up your lifestyle or taking more proactive safety measures. Eating a diet rich in calcium, which can be dairy products and leafy greens. You can also strengthen your hip by doing weight-bearing exercises. Avoiding harmful substances, such as tobacco and alcohol, can prevent your bones from becoming weaker.

What Is The Recovery Process Like From Hip Surgery?

If you are looking to have hip surgery, it is important for you to know what to expect from the recovery process. While the recovery process is different for every patient, you can expect to remain in the hospital for a few days. Most patients can expect to remain in the hospital for about three to five days.

Your doctor will give you detailed instructions about what you can and cannot do during your recovery. For example, you cannot cross your legs, nor can you turn your affected hip to a 90-degree angle. These actions can greatly impede your recovery.

Once you are discharged, you will have to wait about a month or so to resume light activities. People who receive hip fracture surgery can see a full recovery in about four months to a year.

Schedule A Consultation

To learn more about Hip Fractures and treatment, contact Orthopedic Associates of Long Island. Call us at 631.689.6698 to schedule your appointment with one of our orthopedic doctors. OALI serves patients in East Setauket, New York and all of Long Island.

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