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The femur (or thighbone) forms the lower half of the hip joint by fitting its ball into the socket of the pelvis. The hip can be fractured when the top section of the thighbone breaks. A break on the pelvic side of the joint is not classified as a hip fracture.
Since a hip fracture is a serious injury, it can lead to life-threatening complications. That’s why you should seek immediate medical care or dial 911 if you think you have a hip fracture. Dignity Health - St. Rose Dominican has been a Healthgrades five-star recipient for hip fracture treatment three years in a row, so you can trust us with your complete orthopedic care. Learn more by finding an orthopedist or calling 702.616.4900 today.
The main symptom of a hip fracture or broken hip is pain in the outer part of the upper thigh or groin. The pain can be severe or constant and achy. Other common signs and symptoms include:
A broken or fractured hip occurs when forceful trauma of a fall or direct blow on the thighbone exceeds its ability to remain intact. In fact, falls account for 95 percent of hip fractures.
Certain medical conditions, including osteoporosis, cancer, and stress injuries, can increase your chances of getting a hip fracture. These conditions weaken the thighbone, making it easier to break. Hip fractures are more common in elderly women, as they are more likely to fall and to have osteoporosis.
Treatment and prevention options for hip fractures and breaks depend on your health and your risk factors. Hip surgery is the most common treatment for a fractured hip — and it is almost always necessary. However, if you cannot undergo surgery, extended bed rest may help the joint heal.
The type of surgery needed will depend on the extent of the break. It may be possible to realign and stabilize the thighbone with pins, screws, and plates. Total joint replacement surgery may be necessary in some cases.
Rehabilitation after your hip fracture and surgery will be extensive, but will help you regain strength, function, and flexibility in the hip. Full recovery can take three to six months. Many find that they regain mobility and independence after hip surgery and rehabilitation.