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Hip Fracture

What is a Hip Fracture?

Fractures or breaks within the bone can occur in the hip, shin (tibia) and thigh (femur). A Hip Fracture can occur from different causes, often from accidents / falls, but can also be caused from wear and tear due to osteoporosis.

When accidents happen e.g.  a fall from a height, or impact or sudden movement is made during contact sport e.g. skiing/cycling, then fractures in these areas can be the result.

Osteoporosis is another condition that can factor into bone strength and density, therefore bones can be brittle and more at risk of fracture.

Symptoms are immediate pain in the fractured area, swelling, inability to weight bear, leg deformity and in the severe cases the bone may have pierced the skin.

Diagnosis includes x-ray along with medical examination.

Conservative treatment, is possible for certain fractures. Depending on the location and alignment of the fracture the hip and knee team would advise non-weight bearing activities, plaster cast for tibia fractures or bracing for femur fractures. Physiotherapy will also be included in the recovery period which may range between 6-12 weeks to get back to normal duties.

Surgery is advised when the fracture is severe and alignment of the bone will need surgical intervention. Internal and external fixation methods can be applied depending on the fracture. Some hip fractures may lead to a total hip replacement to ensure recovery and mobility for the patient. The recovery period can vary depending on the fracture and patient’s age and fitness level. Physiotherapy will also include in the rehabilitation phase and fractures that include surgical intervention will normally take 6 weeks for the patient to weight bear and 3-6 months to return to normal daily activities. All fractures are different and our hip and knee team are highly experienced in treating all trauma to the tibia, femur, hip and knee.

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