What is a Broken Hip?
The hip is made up of part of the pelvic bone and the top of the femur. Unlike most other joints in the body, the hip allows for rotational movement in all directions; the range of motion of the hip joint is greater than any other joint.
When there is a fracture in the thigh bone, this is known as a broken hip. Regardless of a patient’s age, a broken hip can be serious and in certain cases, life-threatening.
Broken Hip Symptoms
There are different types of broken hips, depending on the location of the hip fracture, and each type has its own symptoms. These different types include:
– Femoral Neck Fracture: When the break is within 2 inches from the connecting point of the bone and the socket. This type of fracture can stop the blood circulation to the hip, leading to numbness and weakening.
– Intertrochanteric Hip Fracture: A fracture that happens 2-4 inches away from the joint. Unlike the femoral neck fracture, there is no risk of blood flow stoppage.
– Intracapsular Fracture: A fracture that can tear the ball and socket’s blood vessels.
Generally, symptoms include:
– Hip inflammation
– A shorter leg on the affected side
– Groin and hip pain
Broken Hip Causes
While a broken hip can generally be attributed to a traumatic blow to the hip area, there are certain risk factors that can increase the likelihood of this injury. These include:
– Ethnicity: Asians and Caucasians have a higher risk of breaking their hips
– Sex: Women are likelier to break their hips than men
– Reoccurrence: A hip with a history of breaking is much more susceptible to breaking again
– Malnutrition: A healthy diet is crucial towards maintaining the nutritional needs for a healthy hip
– Age: Those who are aged 60 or older have a high chance of breaking their hips during falls, as the density and strength of their bones have decreased
How is a Broken Hip treated?
The treatment your doctor recommends for a broken hip will depend on your physical condition and age. Treatment options can be physical therapy, surgery, or medication. Physical therapy is generally coupled with surgery, to help accelerate patient recovery.