Hip fractures can involve in the round upper point of the thighbone, slim region of the thighbone or the protrusions in the wider region beneath the neck. Hip fractures are quite common among the elderly since they are likely to have osteoporosis, use drugs that increase the risk for hip fractures as well as prone to falls.
The hip joint is comprised of the round upper end of the thighbone and region of the pelvic bone. The rounded head of the thighbone perfectly fits into the cup-shaped cavity in the pelvic bone, forming a ball-and-socket joint. Beneath the head, the thighbone tapers to form the neck of the thighbone. Below the neck is a wider area that includes 2 large-sized bumps or trochanters.
Indications of hip fractures
Hip fractures are typically painful. If the broken bone pieces separated, the individual could not stand, walk or move the leg. When lying down, the affected leg appears shorter and might not turn. Nevertheless, if the broken pieces have been jarred together and the fracture is minimal, the individual can sometimes walk and might only have minor pain while the leg appears normal.
If significant blood leaks from the fracture or from a torn blood vessel nearby, the individual will feel weak or lightheaded. The area can swell up and a purplish bruise can develop.
Oftentimes, if the hip is damaged, the pain appears to originate from the knee instead of the hip. The reason for this is that the knee and hip share part of the same nerve pathways.
In most instances, the treatment involves surgery since it shortens the time required to stay in bed and minimizes the risk for serious issues that bed rest can cause. Surgical intervention will allow the individual to get out of bed and start walking as soon as possible.
Usually, the individual can take a few steps using a walker 1-2 days after the operation. Rehabilitation is started as soon as possible.
Hip fractures might be surgically repaired or replaced. The procedure utilized for the repair is called open reduction with internal fixation (ORIF). The hip is repaired if the fracture is not too severe. In some cases, the hip is replaced in severe cases or when the blood supply to the head of the thighbone is disrupted.