A hip fracture, which is often the result of osteoporosis, is a serious femoral fracture that occurs at the proximal end of the femur near the hip. This type of fracture is serious, especially for adults over 65, resulting in life-threatening complications. Your bones tend to weaken (osteoporosis) as you get older, which is why older people are more susceptible to hip fractures. Younger people can also suffer from hip fractures, but the cause is usually the result of car or cycling accidents.
There are signs and symptoms of a hip fracture to look for. These may include the inability to move after a fall, severe hip or groin pain, inability to bear weight on the leg of your injured hip, stiffness/bruising/swelling surrounding your hip area and shortness of the leg of your injured hip.
Not all hip fractures are readily visible on an x-ray, therefore an MRI is the next test option. In cases where the patient cannot afford an MRI or cannot fit in the scanner, a CT may be substituted. MRI sensitivity for fractures usually are greater than a CT. Once a fracture is identified it is determined if the patient will require orthopedic surgery. If an operation is necessary a full pre-operative general investigation including blood labs, ECG and a chest x-ray will be obtained. The surgery is a stress on the patient, especially if elderly due to the prolonged immobilization.
According to Mayo Clinic Staff (2012), “A hip fracture almost always requires surgical repair or replacement, followed by months of physical therapy. Taking steps to maintain bone density and prevent falls can help prevent hip fracture.” Occupational therapy and/or physical therapy is a very important process in rehabilitation, as it has been known to increase daily function for a healthy recovery. About 2% of hip surgery recipients experience a deep or superficial wound infection. If the infection is superficial it could lead to a deep infection including the healing bone. It could also contaminate the implants, which requires implant removal once the infection has been treated and clears up.
Medical Disclaimer: Always talk to a medical consultant before starting a new exercise routine, returning to exercise after injury or surgery, or if you have any health care-related questions.
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