A hip fracture may also be referred to as a proximal femoral fracture.
What is a hip fracture?
A hip fracture is a break or crack close to your hip joint at the top of your thigh bone (femur).
What causes a hip fracture?
Often a hip fracture occurs when somebody has fallen over. If your bones are weak or osteoporotic then you are more likely to sustain a hip fracture after falling. Around 45% of those over the age of 80 living in the community fall each year and can be very debilitating.
What are the symptoms of a hip fracture?
There are a few different symptoms of a hip fracture including:
- Inability to move, lift or rotate your leg
- Pain when moving the hip
- Tenderness around the hip
- One leg shorter than the other or your leg is turning outwards
- Not being able to put weight through your injured leg
How is a hip fracture diagnosed?
Because hip fractures generally occur after a fall, diagnosis will take place at a hospital. Scans are used to confirm diagnosis including X-rays, MRI scans and CT scans.
If you suspect you have fractured your hip it is important to go to your doctor as it is important that your hip fracture is assessed and treated or operated on as quickly as possible.
What treatment can Farrell Physiotherapy offer for a hip fracture?
Hip fractures are normally treated with surgery. Around half of hip fractures require a complete or partial hip replacement and the rest need surgery that will fix the fracture with rods, plates or screws.
Following surgery, it is important to take part in a rehabilitation programme to aid your recovery and promote healing. After an assessment, your physiotherapist will produce an individual treatment and rehabilitation programme to help you recover as quickly and safely as possible depending on your symptoms and injury.
Your physiotherapist will choose the most appropriate treatment methods for you based on your symptoms and response to different treatment modalities.
Treatment can include:
- Strengthening exercises
- Range of movement exercises
- Gait re-education
- Education with walking aids or assistance
- Ice/heat therapy
- Practicing transfers: getting up from lying, sitting, transferring from bed to chair, on/off the toilet etc
- Practice mobilising up and down stairs
- Advice on adaptations or equipment
- Graded exercise programme to return to functional/sporting activities
Benefit of physiotherapy for a hip fracture?
There are several benefits of physiotherapy following a hip fracture and surgery. Physiotherapy is important in order for you to make as quick a recovery as possible and to prevent the injury occurring again. The benefits you feel will be based on your symptoms and your goals.
Physiotherapy following a hip fracture aims to:
- Decrease stiffness
- Maintain range of movement
- Maintain or improve strength
- Promote healing
- Decrease inflammation
- Reduce pain
- Improve confidence