Redwood Orthopaedic Surgery Associates | Santa Rosa, CA

How Do I Know If I Have a Hip Fracture & How Is It Treated?

Statistics show that between 260,000 and 300,000 people are admitted into area hospitals with hip fractures annually. This number is expected to increase significantly over the next decade. Unfortunately, these injuries can be extremely debilitating. For this reason, it is important to recognize the symptoms of a hip fracture and learn about the available treatment options.

Symptoms of a Hip Fracture

Pain and stiffness in the hip or groin area are the first symptoms of a hip fracture, especially if the pain intensifies when you move the hip, stand up, or bear weight on the affected side. In addition, the area around the hip may swell and bruise, indicating internal trauma. In some cases, the fractured hip leg may appear shorter or be turned outward in an unusual position.

What Causes a Hip Fracture?

A combination of factors can cause a hip fracture. Falling is the most frequent cause, especially in older adults. However, that fall might be the result of unsteadiness, osteoporosis, or nutritional deficiencies weakening the bones. Alcohol and smoking can also lead to bone density loss, which can increase the likelihood of a hip fracture. Women are more likely than men to suffer a hip fracture due in part to a higher propensity for osteoporosis.

Confirming a Hip Fracture

If you suspect that you have a hip fracture, it is vital to have it diagnosed. In most cases, doctors will confirm a hip fracture through an imaging test like an X-ray, MRI, or CT scan. These studies can give immediate results, ensuring a proper treatment plan is ordered as soon as possible.

How Do You Treat a Hip Fracture?

Most hip fractures require surgery, followed by physical therapy and rehabilitation. Several surgical options are available, depending on your personal health and mobility. The first type is for non-displaced hips. Metal screws, rods, and plates are used to hold the bones in place while they heal. The second type is a partial or total hip replacement when the bones are older and weaker. The third type is an option for older patients with less mobility: a partial option where the femoral head is replaced.

Post-Surgery Treatment

With the goal of restoring mobility, strength, and independence, rehabilitation starts as soon as possible after the surgery to prevent complications like blood clots, bed sores, and pneumonia. During the physical therapy, rehabilitation, and recovery phase, patients should expect a period of reduced mobility, including the usage of assistive devices like walkers or canes.

Schedule a Consultation Today

If you suspect a hip fracture, you must act quickly to prevent further damage, pain, and discomfort. Visit Redwood Orthopaedic Associates in Santa Rosa, CA, to get help for hip fractures. Schedule an appointment with our professionals today by calling 707-544-3400.

Posted in: Hip Pain

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