When we talk about hip fracture, we refer to the fracture of the upper part of the femur.
Hip fractures occur mainly in the patient’s home, after a fall from a standing position in most of the cases.
It should be noted that due to osteoporosis that usually coexists in older people, many times an abrupt movement of the lower limb is capable of causing a fracture without the patient necessarily falling.
Therefore, the patient who suddenly complains of hip pain should always be examined by an orthopedist.
It is common for patients with a hip fracture caused in their home to be diagnosed after several days, because no one believed that there could be a fracture.
Hip fractures are more common among older people and women are twice as vulnerable to hip fracture as men.
Although the main cause is a fall from a standing position, other risk factors are osteoporosis, cancer and metabolic diseases.
The diagnosis is made both clinically (inability to walk and a typical image with the affected leg externally rotated and shortened), as well as with X-rays, while rarely a CT scan will be required to image the fracture.
The most common types of hip fractures are the femoral neck fractures or subcapital fractures and the intertrochanteric fractures.
The treatment of a hip fracture is surgical, provided that the general condition of the patient allows it.
Depending on the type of fracture and the age of the patient, we choose the most suitable operation. In subcapital fractures, total arthroplasty, hemiarthroplasty and screw fixation can be performed in some cases; while in intertrochanteric fractures the solution of intramedullary nailing or dynamic screw fixation is chosen.
the patient shall follow a physiotherapy program to return to his/her daily routine and previous activities.
Hip fractures are a very dangerous condition for an elderly patient, increasing the mortality rates, especially if not treated immediately with surgery, while statistically it has been observed that a sufficient number of patients will pass away in the first year after the fracture.
In conclusion, we should treat the hip fracture not as a “simple” fracture that must be osteosynthesized, but as a condition that deregulates the patient health and threatens his/her life.