Your hip is a ball-and-socket joint. The ball of your thigh bone fits securely into the socket of your pelvis. It bears your body weight and supports all kinds of movements. When a fall or force causes the top part of the thigh bone to break, you may experience a hip bone fracture or break.
Since its conception in 2019, our hip fracture program has resulted in a considerable improvement in care, such as pain control without using opioid drugs, faster surgical care, reduced postoperative complications, and increased discharge to home.
What is a hip fracture?
A hip fracture is a break in the top of the femur or thigh bone, the large bone between the hip and the knee. There are two types of hip fractures: nondisplaced (the bone is broken but still remains in place) and displaced (the bone has moved out of place).
Hip fractures are usually caused by fall or blow to the hip, and it is considered a serious injury that can cause life-threatening complications.
A hip fracture can be associated with other conditions with the most common being osteoporosis. Other medical conditions can cause falls, including strokes and Parkinson’s disease.
Diagnosis and Treatment
The diagnosis of hip fracture usually occurs in the emergency room, and begins with a history and physical examination. It is important that the doctor is informed of any other medical conditions you have so that appropriate treatment of the hip fracture.
An x-ray will be taken to diagnose a hip fracture. If the fracture is not detected by x-ray, a CT or MRI can be administered. Hip fractures most commonly require emergency surgery by an orthopedic surgeon to restore bones to their original positions.
Dominican Hospital’s approach to treating hip fractures
The Dominican Hospital’s Hip Fracture Program has redesigned and improved treatment for patients with a hip fracture. Our emergency department is the first line of the program, making sure each patient gets the appropriate workup and is taken care of as early as possible. Our doctors will:
- Identify the hip fracture quickly based on the symptoms, a physical exam and x-ray.
- Manage pain with delivery of a nerve block. This provides pain control while minimizing the use of opioid pain medications.
- Prevent blood clots.
- Provide faster surgical care by streamlining the process of admitting and preparing patients for surgery. Most surgeries are performed within 24 hours of injury.
- Note that Patients stay in a specialized orthopedic unit before and after surgery.
Preventing future hip fractures
Therapy, possibly in a rehabilitation facility, is often required after hip fracture surgery to optimize a patient’s ability to return to pre-injury function. The prevention of future falls is directly addressed through therapy working on strength, balance, and safety.
Another important factor after surgery is hip fracture prevention through treatment of osteoporosis. The patient will be directed to their primary doctors or other physicians that specialize in managing osteoporosis to help strengthen bones and prevent future fractures.
Our orthopedic team has extensive experience in treating hip fractures and breaks. Reach out to our experts to begin your healing and recovery from hip fractures. Or get more information on our classes and wellness programs at our Wellness Center.