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A hip fracture is a break in the upper part of the thighbone (femur). It usually happens near where the thighbone fits into the hip joint. A hip fracture almost always completely breaks the bone. It can take some time to recover. But treatment can help you get back some strength and mobility.
Most hip fractures are caused by falls. As you get older, your bones naturally lose some strength and are more likely to break, even from a minor fall. Children and young adults are more likely to break a hip because of a bike or car accident or a sports injury.
If your hip is broken, you will most likely:
These symptoms are most common after a fall. But if you have very thin bones from osteoporosis or another problem, you could break your hip without falling.
In rare cases, people have only thigh or knee pain. They may be able to walk.
Doctors use X-rays to diagnose a broken hip. You may need another test if your doctor thinks that you have a fracture but can't see it on an X-ray. You might have a test such as:
You will most likely need surgery to fix your hip. Surgery usually works well, but your hip will probably take a long time to get better.
Surgery is done as soon as possible after a hip fracture is diagnosed, often within 24 hours. Having surgery right away may help shorten your stay in the hospital. It can also reduce pain and problems from the surgery. Sometimes surgery is delayed for 1 to 2 days so other medical problems can be treated first.
The type of surgery you have will depend on where the break is and how bad it is.
Your doctor will encourage you to take part in a rehab program that includes physical therapy and occupational therapy. This will teach you:
Taking part in a rehab program is very important because it will speed up your recovery. Rehab can also help you get back to your normal activities sooner.
There are many things you can do to prevent a hip fracture. One of the most important is to prevent osteoporosis. Bone thinning can happen to men or women. But it is more common in women.
To keep your bones strong:
You also need to be extra careful to prevent falls. Here are a few ways to make your home safer:
It can also help to:
Current as of: July 17, 2023
Author: Healthwise StaffClinical Review BoardAll Healthwise education is reviewed by a team that includes physicians, nurses, advanced practitioners, registered dieticians, and other healthcare professionals.
Current as of: July 17, 2023
Author: Healthwise Staff
Clinical Review BoardAll Healthwise education is reviewed by a team that includes physicians, nurses, advanced practitioners, registered dieticians, and other healthcare professionals.
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