The femur — or thigh bone — forms the lower half of the hip joint by fitting its ball into the socket of the pelvis. Hip fractures occur when the top part of the thigh bone breaks. A break on the pelvic side of the joint is not a hip fracture.
A hip fracture is a serious injury and can lead to life-threatening complications. You should seek immediate medical care or dial 9-1-1 if you suspect a hip fracture.
Dignity Health can offer comprehensive care for hip breaks and fractures in Arizona — call (877) 914-1670 or Find a Doctor online to learn more. Our orthopedic team is experienced in treating hip conditions and injuries and focuses on helping you return to the activities you love.
What are the Symptoms of Hip Fractures & Breaks?
The main symptom of a hip fracture or break is pain in the outer part of the upper thigh or groin, which can be either severe or constant and achy. Other signs include:
- Inability to bear weight on the injured leg
- Inability to rotate or flex the hip, or significant discomfort with these movements
- Leg on the injured side turned outward
- Leg on the injured side appears shorter than the other
- Stiffness, bruising, and swelling
Causes of Hip Fractures & Breaks
Hip fractures occur when forces on the thighbone exceed its ability to remain intact. Forceful trauma from a fall or a direct blow to the hip is often the cause of hip fractures. In fact, falls account for 95 percent of hip fractures.
Medical conditions such as osteoporosis, cancer, and stress injuries can increase the likelihood of hip injuries, as they weaken the thighbone and make it easier to break. Hip fractures are more common in elderly women.
Expert Treatment for Hip Fractures & Breaks at Dignity Health
Your treatment and prevention options depend on your health and risk factors. Surgery is the main treatment for treating a fractured hip. However, if you are too ill to have surgery, extended bed rest may help the hip heal.
The type of surgery you need will depends on the extent of the break. It may be possible to realign and stabilize the thighbone with pins, screws, and plates. Hip joint replacement surgery may be necessary in some cases.
Rehabilitation after hip fracture and surgery is extensive. A physical therapist will work with you to regain strength, function, and flexibility in the hip. Full recovery can take three to six months. Our orthopedic surgeons and rehabilitation specialists can help you get back on your feet.
Dignity Health provides many treatment options for patients with broken or fractured hips in Arizona.