Hip Fractures

hip-fracturesFractures of the hip are becoming increasingly common in the USA. They typically occur in older individuals as a result of ground level falls, such as a trip and fall getting out of a chair. Patients are unable to stand and even small amounts of motion are painful for the patients. Surgical repair of these fractures is usually required. It allows more comfortable movement and usually affords immediate post-operative weight bearing. Delays in transferring patients to different hospitals or waiting for a particular surgeon are unadvisable and most orthopaedic surgeons are quite familiar with performing repair of hip fractures.

The surgery is fairly brief (usually less than one hour) and involves re-aligning the fracture and then fixing it with either an nail that fits on the inside of the bone or a plate that fits on the outside of the bone. Most patients begin walking within the first few days. Unfortunately, many elderly patients with this type of fracture are unable to return home and require a period of recovery in a convalescence facility after discharge from the hospital. Recovery is prolonged, but most patients are able to stand and walk comfortably within 3-4 months of surgery. However, many continue to use a cane or walker for stability after the fracture has healed.

This post-op instruction page (hyperlink) is useful in answering the most common questions that patients have about their care in the first 2-3 weeks after surgery.

POST OP HIP FRACTURE INSTRUCTIONS