An injury where there is a break in the thigh bone just below the hip joint. The joint is made up of the thigh bone and rounded pelvic socket being connected at the top by a “ball”. Two main types of hip fractures can occur:
- Femoral neck fracture – a break in the thigh bone about 1-2 inches beneath the ball portion of the hip
- Intertrochanteric fracture – a break in the thigh bone lower than 1-2 inches beneath the ball portion of the hip
The most frequent cause of a hip fracture is falling, where a direct blow is administered to the area. Indirect causes can include osteoporosis, where the bones are weakened through a thinning process, and other bones conditions such as tumors.
Another cause of a hip fracture results from injury sustained in an automobile accident or motorcycle accident, where an individual is exposed to amounts of high exertion.
Symptoms Medium to severe pain, inability to stand and walk and abnormal appearances of the leg (such as turning outward) can be symptoms of a hip fracture.
For a femoral neck fracture, the blood supply to the fractured portion of bone is often disrupted at the time of injury. Blood flow may therefore be diminished, making this fracture a high risk of not healing and requiring a partial hip replacement.
An intertrochanteric fracture, on the other hand, does not damage the blood flow to the bone. This means that a hip replacement is usually not needed, only using surgery to realign the fractured bone with metal plates and screws.