What Is A Hip Fracture?

A hip fracture is a break in the upper part of the femur (thigh) bone. The extent of the break depends on the forces that are involved. The type of surgery used to treat a hip fracture is primarily based on the bones and soft tissues affected and on the location of the fracture.

Causes

Hip fractures most commonly occur from a fall or from a direct blow to the side of the hip. Some medical conditions such as osteoporosis, cancer, or stress injuries can weaken the bone and make the hip more susceptible to breaking. In severe cases, it is possible for the hip to break with the patient merely standing on the leg and twisting.

Symptoms

The patient with a hip fracture will have pain over the outer upper thigh or in the groin. There will be significant discomfort with any attempt to move the hip.

If the bone has been weakened by disease (such as a stress injury or cancer), the patient may notice aching in the groin or thigh area for a period of time before the break. If the bone is completely broken, the leg may appear to be shorter than the non-injured leg. The patient will often hold the injured leg in a still position with the foot and knee turned outward (external rotation).

Radiological Assessment

The diagnosis of a hip fracture is generally made by an X-ray of the hip and femur.

Hip fractures occur at the upper end of the thigh bone (femur).

In some cases, if the patient falls and complains of hip pain, an incomplete fracture may not be seen on a regular X-ray. In that case, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) may be recommended. The MRI scan is a useful diagnostic test in equivocal cases.

An MRI may identify a hip fracture otherwise missed on plain X-ray.

If the patient is unable to have an MRI scan because of an associated medical condition, computed tomography (CT) may be obtained instead. Computed tomography, however, is not as sensitive as MRI for seeing hidden hip fractures.

Types Of Fractures

In general, there are three different types of hip fractures. The type of fracture depends on what area of the upper femur is involved.

Treatment

Most surgeons agree that patients do better if they are operated on fairly quickly.

Certain fractures that have not moved (“displaced”) may not require surgery. Because there is a risk that they may move later on, they are often fixed.

Certain types of fractures may be considered stable enough to be managed with non-surgical treatment. Because there is some risk that these “stable” fractures may instead prove unstable and displace (change position), Dr Parminder J Singh will need to follow you up in his rooms with periodic X-rays of the area until the fracture has united satisfactorily.

After Surgery

Patients may be discharged from the hospital to their home or find that a stay in a rehabilitation facility is necessary to assist them in regaining their ability to walk.

REHABILITATION

The amount of weight that is allowed to be placed on the injured leg will be determined by the surgeon and is generally a function of the type of fracture and repair (fixation).

The physical therapist will work with the patient to help regain strength and the ability to walk. This process may take up to three months.

MEDICAL CARE

Most patients will be placed on medicine to thin their blood to reduce the chances of developing blood clots for up to 6 weeks.

FOLLOW UP CARE

During the appointments that take place after surgery, Dr Parminder J Singh will want to check the wound, remove sutures, follow the healing process using X-rays, and prescribe additional physical therapy, if necessary.

Following hip fracture surgery, most patients will regain the majority of their mobility and independence.

Leave Pain Behind. Leading Hip Fracture Repair And Recovery.

Dr Parminder Singh is a leading orthopaedic surgeon and hip fracture expert. Speak to us about your hip fracture treatment. Call today.

What Is The Process Moving Forward?

Step 1: Book A Consultation

If you do require surgery, we will schedule and walk you through the process of your operation.

Step 2 Schedule Surgery

During your appointment, Dr Parminder Singh will take a history, examine you and review the relevant radiology. If any further scans are required Dr Singh will request those. Once the diagnosis has been confirmed Dr Singh will discuss the non-surgical option and surgical options of surgery. If no surgery is required Dr Singh may refer you to a physiotherapist for non-surgical management. If surgery is required Dr Singh will consent you for the surgery explained the risk and benefits of the procedure and the expected outcome.

Step 3 Surgery

Dr Parminder Singh will see you before the surgery in the waiting bay and ensure all your questions have been answered prior to surgery.

Dr Parminder Singh will examine your hip, thigh and leg making sure there are no open wounds or signs of skin infection.

If there are any signs of infection, you surgery will be cancelled and rescheduled for another day.  Once this has been check Dr Parminder Singh will draw an arrow on the side of your thigh confirming with you the side of surgery. Dr Parminder Singh will check your consent form to again confirm the operation being performed and side of surgery.

Step 4 Recovery

Following your surgery, you will recover on the ward. Most individual stay 3-5 nights in the hospital and will be seen by the physiotherapist on the ward to facilitate mobilisation using crutches for the first 6-12 weeks.

Some individuals will use the crutches for longer depending on the type of injury and treatment required.  Dr Parminder Singh will see you in his rooms or a nurse will see you in the rehabilitation center approximately 10-14 days after the hip fracture surgery and inspect the hip wound.

The stitches will be removed during this appointment.  Dr Parminder Singh will also explain the operative findings and recommended precautions and rehabilitation required. Another appointment will typically be organised for you around 6-8 week after this date to assess your progress.  In the meantime, rehabilitation is usually recommended with a physiotherapist who has experience with hip fracture patients.

It is important to follow the hip precautions Dr Parminder Singh recommends to allow for the best possible outcome.

Any further appointment will be made on a case by case basis depending on your condition. In general terms, Dr Parminder Singh recommends approximately 3 months for healing from the surgery and hip precautions during this period.

Leave Pain Behind. Leading Hip Fracture Repair And Recovery.

Dr Parminder Singh is a leading orthopaedic surgeon and hip fracture expert. Speak to us about your hip fracture treatment. Call today.

Book a Consultation

Committed to improving the quality of patient advice, treatment and care in the field of orthopaedics, book a one-on-one consultation with Dr Parminder J Singh today.

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Richmond VIC 3121

Book a consultation on: (03) 9428 4128
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Brighton VIC 3186

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343-357 Blackburn Rd,
Mount Waverley VIC 3149

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