Hip Fracture Treatment From a Board-Certified Orthopaedic Surgeon in Lafayette, LA
A hip fracture is a crack or break in the upper part of the thighbone (femur) near the point where it fits into the hip joint. Most often, a broken hip results from a fall. Older adults and people who have weakened bones due to osteoporosis are particularly susceptible to hip fractures caused by falls.
Additionally, a hip fracture can develop gradually through overuse, which can cause tiny hairline cracks to form in the femur near the hip joint. If left untreated, these stress fractures can progress into a broken hip. Athletes such as long-distance runners and ballet dancers are prone to this type of injury.
What are the symptoms of a broken hip?
Oftentimes, a hip fracture will cause severe pain in the hip or groin area, as well as swelling, bruising, difficulty walking, and an inability to put any weight on the leg. Less frequently, a broken hip may cause only a vague ache in the hip, thigh, buttocks, groin, or back that does not affect mobility.
What are the types of hip fractures?
A broken hip can be classified by the location and type of break in the thighbone. The two most common types of hip fractures are:
- A femoral neck fracture – Often related to athletic stress fractures, this type of injury involves a break in the femur within 1-2 inches of the hip joint. Because the fracture can potentially disrupt the supply of blood to the femoral head, a complication known as femoral avascular necrosis may develop.
- An intertrochanteric hip fracture – This type of injury, which involves a break in the femur within 3-4 inches of the hip joint, does not interfere with blood supply to the bone.
How is a broken hip treated?
In most cases, a hip fracture requires surgical treatment. The type of procedure required will depend on the location and severity of the break. For instance, a surgeon may perform hip repair surgery, which involves the placement of screws, rods, plates, or other internal fixation devices to hold the broken bone together as it heals. Alternatively, a severe fracture may warrant hip replacement surgery, which involves replacing part or all of the hip joint with artificial components. Any type of hip surgery is usually followed by a customized physical therapy program designed to restore muscle strength and mobility.
If you’re experiencing the symptoms of a hip fracture, it’s important to promptly see a physician who can provide an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment. If you’re in the Lafayette, Louisiana, area, you are encouraged to consult with Peter D. Vizzi, M.D., a board-certified orthopedic surgeon who provides a full range of treatments for fractures and other musculoskeletal injuries. Contact Dr. Vizzi’s office in Lafayette, LA, to schedule a consultation today.