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Hip fracture surgeries

Contents of this page:

Alternative Names   

Inter-trochanteric fracture repair; Subtrochanteric fracture repair; Femoral neck fracture repair; Trochanteric fracture repair; Hip pinning surgery

Definition    Return to top

Hip fracture surgeries are procedures that repair a break in the upper part of the thigh bone. The thigh bone is called the femur, and it is part of the hip joint.

See also: Hip pain

Description    Return to top

You may receive general anesthesia before this surgery. This means you will be unconscious and unable to feel pain. You may have spinal anesthesia. In this kind of anesthesia, medicine is put into your back to make you numb below your waist.

The type of surgery you have will depend what kind of fracture you have.

If your fracture is in the neck of your femur (the part just below the top of the bone) you may have a hip pinning procedure. In this surgery:

If you have an inter-trochanteric fracture (the area below the femur neck), your surgeon will use a special metal plate and special compression screws to repair it. Often more than 1 piece of bone is broken in this type of fracture. In this surgery:

Your surgeon may use hemiarthroplasty to treat your fractured hip if there is concern your hip will not heal well using one of the procedures above. Hemiarthroplasty replaces the ball part of your hip joint. See also: Hip joint replacement

Why the Procedure is Performed    Return to top

If a hip fracture is not treated, most people will have to stay in a chair or their bed. This can lead to other life-threatening medical problems, especially for older people. Because such serious problems can develop, surgery to fix the fracture is often recommended.

Risks    Return to top

Older adults have a greater chance of fracturing a hip because of other conditions they may have. Some conditions that increase the risk of hip fracture are osteoporosis, dizziness or problems with balance, weak muscles, poor eyesight, brain disorders, and taking medicines that may cause problems.

Ask your doctor about these risks:

Before the Procedure    Return to top

Always tell your doctor or nurse what drugs you are taking, even drugs or herbs you bought without a prescription.

During the days before your surgery:

On the day of the surgery:

After the Procedure    Return to top

You will stay in the hospital for 3 to 5 days. But full recovery will take from 2 to 3 months to a year.

After surgery:

You will be encouraged to start moving and walking as soon as the first day after surgery. Most of the problems that develop after hip fracture surgery can be prevented by getting out of bed and walking as soon as possible.

You will probably be able to go home when:

Some people need a short stay in a rehabilitation center after they leave the hospital and before they go home. At a rehab center, you will learn how to safely do your daily activities on your own.

You might need to use crutches or a walker for a few weeks or months after surgery.

Outlook (Prognosis)    Return to top

You will do better if you get out of bed and start moving as soon as you can after your surgery. Most of the problems that develop after this surgery are caused by being inactive.

Your doctor and nurse will help you decide whether it is safe for you to go home after you have had this surgery to repair your hip fracture.

References    Return to top

LaVelle DG. Fractures and dislocations of the hip. In: Canale ST, Beatty JH, eds. Campbell's Operative Orthopaedics. 11th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Mosby Elsevier; 2007:chap 52.

Update Date: 2/9/2009

Updated by: C. Benjamin Ma, MD, Assistant Professor, Chief, Sports Medicine and Shoulder Service, UCSF Dept of Orthopaedic Surgery. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.

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