The hip joint is made of two parts: the rounded top part of the thigh bone (femur) and the socket of the pelvis. A hip fracture is a break in the top part of the thigh bone. A break on the pelvic side of the hip joint is not considered a hip fracture.
A fractured hip is a serious injury. If you think you may have a hip fracture or break, seek immediate medical assistance, or call 911.
Dignity Health orthopedic specialists provide expert treatment for many hip injuries, including broken hips. Find a Doctor today to learn about our treatment strategies for hip fractures in Northern California.
What are the Symptoms of Hip Fractures & Breaks?
Pain in the outer part of the upper thigh or groin is the main symptom of a hip fracture or break. The pain can be constant and achy, or severe. Additional symptoms include:
- Stiffness, bruising, and swelling
- Leg on the injured side is turned outward
- Inability to put weight on the injured leg
- Inability (or extreme discomfort when trying) to rotate or flex the hip
- Leg on the injured side is shorter than the other leg
How Do Hip Fractures & Breaks Occur?
A hip fracture happens when a force acting on the thigh bone exceeds the bone’s ability to withstand it. Hip fractures are often the result of forceful trauma from a fall or a direct blow. In fact, falls account for 95 percent of hip fractures.
Osteoporosis, cancer, and stress injuries can increase the chance of a hip fracture happening. These medical conditions can weaken bones, and make them more susceptible to breaking.
Elderly women, being more prone to osteoporosis and at higher risk for falling, are more likely to experience hip fractures.
Advanced Treatment for Hip Fractures & Breaks at Dignity Health North State
The treatment your doctor will recommend depends on your health and risk factors. The most commonly used method to treat a hip fracture or break is surgery. However, surgery presents too great a risk for some patients. In these circumstances, extended bed rest may help to heal the hip.
The extent of your break or fracture will determine what surgical procedure your Dignity Health North State surgeon recommends. Pins, screws, and plates may be used to realign and stabilize your thigh bone. In some cases, hip joint replacement surgery may be necessary.
You will need extensive rehabilitation following hip surgery. A physical therapist at one of our hospitals will help you regain your strength, function, and flexibility. It can take between three and six months to regain your mobility and independence.
Our orthopedic doctors and surgeons are here to help with your orthopedic concerns, from foot and ankle pain to minimally invasive hip replacement. Learn more about our orthopedic services in Northern California.
Dignity Health North State provides advanced diagnostic and treatment services, including care for hip fractures, in Mt. Shasta, Red Bluff, and Redding, CA.