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Broken Hip Surgery

A broken hip, or fractured neck of femur, is a very common occurrence in eldelry people as the population ages. The neck of the femur loses strength as the bones loose their density, becoming osteopoenic or osteoporotic, and with a sudden stress or a fall the person suffers a fracture.

Fractured neck of femur is an important fracture due to the pain, expense, loss of function and risk to future life that it represents. Many sufferers are frail elderly persons and a fracture is a significant threat to both their life and their independence.

Broken hip symptoms include pain on the side of the hip, inability to weight bear, a shortened leg and a leg which is turned outwards. Attempted manipulation of the hip is very limited in range of movement and is painful.

The most common broken hip therapy is to schedule an operation for open reduction and internal fixation of the fracture with the minimum of delay as delay is related to a worse outcome due to consequences of remaining in bed for too long.

If the fracture is impacted, i.e. one fracture segment has been pushed into the other segment and made stable, then the patient is often allowed to weight bear as pain allows and the fracture will heal within twelve weeks.

A very high fracture threatens the blood supply to the head of femur so surgery in these cases involves replacement of the upper femur with a hemiarthroplasty such as the Austin Moore prosthesis. Rehabilitation involves regular mobilisation with the physiotherapist until functional walking is regained and independence is restored.

A lower fracture is usually fixed with an internal fixation device such as the dynamic hip screw, which maintains the position of the fragments and compresses the fragments together, encouraging healing.

The broken hip hospital stay varies greatly as patients can be fit 60 year olds with little else wrong with them to very elderly and confused patients with medical conditions, so broken hip recovery in hospital terms may vary from a few days to an extended period.

Broken hip recovery time varies and while the bony healing takes around twelve weeks to become solid, people may take a shorter or longer time than this to regain their independence and walking ability.

Further information about broken hip surgery can be seen at and

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