Broken Hip Recovery Time
A fractured neck of femur, which is the correct medical term for what is commonly called a broken hip, is a serious fracture of the upper thigh bone and a common occurrence in elderly people. As the population becomes older overall, the number of people with reduced bone density or osteoporosis rises greatly and it is these people who are at risk of a broken hip.
Broken hip symptoms include a shortened and outwardly rotated leg, significant pain around the hip and groin and an inability to weight bear on the leg. In these cases the patient should be taken to hospital for the orthopaedic surgeons to decide on the best broken hip therapy.
Operative treatment is the main management of this kind of fracture and broken hip surgery varies with the severity and location of the fracture in the hip area. High fractures which might compromise the blood supply to the femoral head are often treated with a half hip replacement such as an Austin Moore hemiarthroplasty. Lower fractures are fixed with a metal pin and plate system, a common version being the dynamic hip screw or DHS.
Broken hip recovery is quick if the patient is younger and without great medical complications and a broken hip hospital stay may only last a few days until the physiotherapist is happy for them to be discharged home with crutches or a frame. A young patient with this fracture may have to non-weight bear (hop) for three months to avoid putting any weight through the hip and allow the best chance of healing without blood supply problems.
Older and frailer patients with medical complication may have a much longer hospital stay and may then have to be placed in residential or nursing homes due to their inability to live independently.