Hip Fracture

Hip Fracture at a Glance

A hip fracture refers to the fracture of the thigh bone just below the hip joint. It is one of those serious medical problems that require hospitalization and surgery. Hip fracture can happen at any age, but a majority of them occur in older people, aged more than 65 years. At this age, osteoporosis is common and therefore, a weakened osteoporotic thigh bone may fracture due to a fall or minor trauma. Hip fractures in people with normal bone are most likely to a result of high-impact trauma such as in a road accident.

With the recent advances in medical technology, the treatment of hip fracture has improved substantially, although some cases may require a long recovery period.

Causes

The most common causes of a hip fracture are:

  • Falling—falling from height is one of the most common causes of hip fracture.
  • A forceful injury to the hip—a direct blow to the hip joint like in car accident may cause a hip fracture.
  • Medical conditions—some individuals with osteoporosis, cancer or stress injuries are more prone to hip fractures.

 

Symptoms

The symptoms of a hip fracture include:

  • Severe pain, swelling and stiffness in the hip region
  • Immediate immobility of the affected leg
  • Difficulty to rotate the hip joint
  • The affected leg appears shorter than the other leg

 

Diagnosis

A hip fracture is diagnosed by imaging tests such as X-ray, CT scan or MRI.

Types of Fracture

The type of hip fracture depends on the part of the broken part of the hip bone. Generally, there are three types of hip fracture.

Intracapsular fracture—if the fracture occurs at the level of head and neck of femur, within the capsule, it is called Intracapsular fracture.

Intertrochanteric fracture—if the fracture occurs between the neck of the femur and lesser trochanter, it is called Intertrochanteric fracture.

Subtrochanteric fracture—if the fracture occurs below the lesser trochanter, it is subtrochanteric fracture.

 

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