Hip Fracture – Orthopedic Surgery

Introduction – Hip Fracture

Hip fracture is comon in old age especially in people with brittle bones. It is a result of falls. Most people break their hip near the upper part of the thighbone (femur). It usually happens near where the thighbone fits into the hip joint.

The type of surgery will depend on where the break is and how bad it is.
Most hip fractures happen to people who are 65 or older. Children and young adults are more likely to break a hip because of a bike or car accident or a sports injury. Females, those with a family history of being thin or tall or having family members who had fractures later in life, deficiencies of calcium and vitamin D in diet, sedentary individuals, smokers may raise risk of hip fractures. Medical conditions that cause dizziness or problems with balance, or conditions such as arthritis that can interfere with steady and safe movement. Taking certain medicines that may lead to bone loss.

Symptoms, diagnosis & treatment of hip fractures -

Hip fracture is characterized by severe pain in the hip or lower groin area. Patient probably will not be able to walk or put any weight on the affected leg. In rare cases, people have only thigh or knee pain.

Diagnosis is made using X rays. A follow up with an MRI, a CT scan, or a bone scan may be indicated in patients in whom the diagnosis is unclear. The type of surgery will depend on where the break is and how bad it is. The surgeon may put metal screws, a metal plate, or a rod in the hip to fix the break. On in severe fractures hip relacement may be needed. Movement is encouraged soon after the surgery, this will help prevent problems associated with long term bed ridden condition. These problems may include pneumonia, blood clots, and bed sores. Physical therapy and rehabilitation may be needed in most patients.

Prevention of hip fractures -

One of the most important preventive measures is to prevent osteoporosis. This disease can happen to men or women but it is more common in women. It includes eating foods rich in calcium and vitamin D  such as milk, cheese, yogurt, and other dairy foods with lots of calcium. Dark green vegetables, some seafood, and almonds are also good. Alcohol, smoking etc. should be avoided completely.

In addition measures need to be taken to reduce the chance of falls. This includes rearrangement and replacement of rugs, furniture and electric cables to prevent tripping. Adequate lighting, good flat soled shoes, grab bars in bathrooms, exercise and avoidance of alcohol are other good measures.

- Link of interest: Orthopedic News on Facebook

This article is not medical advice nor a substitute to professional health advice. Always consult a doctor.


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