Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

Hip Fracture Overview

What is a hip fracture?
A person with a hip fracture has broken one of the bones that make up the hip joint. The most common location of the fracture occurs in the top of the femur. In the elderly, most hip fractures are caused by minor falls onto the hip. Nearly half of all people with hip fracture are more than 80 years old. In young people, a severe injury, such as an automobile accident, is required to break the hip.

What are the symptoms of a hip fracture?
Symptoms of a hip fracture include sudden severe hip pain that worsens with movement of the hip. Additional symptoms may include bruising over the hip, hip swelling, hip tenderness, knee pain, difficulty walking, limping, inability to stand, leg weakness, and leg numbness. The leg with the hip fracture is usually shorter than the other leg.

How does the doctor treat a hip fracture?
Treatment for a hip fracture includes surgery to repair the hip. In some cases this may require a hip joint replacement. Additional treatment may include narcotic pain medications, physical therapy, and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications for pain.

Continue to Hip Fracture Incidence

Last Updated: Sep 24, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Hip Fracture References
  1. Dominguez S, Liu P, Roberts C, Mandell M, Richman PB. Prevalence of traumatic hip and pelvic fractures in patients with suspected hip fracture and negative initial standard radiographs--a study of emergency department patients. Acad Emerg Med. 2005 Apr;12(4):366-9. [15805330]
  2. Dubey A, Koval KJ, Zuckerman JD. Hip fracture epidemiology: a review. Am J Orthop. 1999 Sep;28(9):497-506. [10497856]
  3. Dubey A, Koval KJ, Zuckerman JD. Hip fracture prevention: a review. Am J Orthop. 1998 Jun;27(6):407-12. [9652882]
  4. Jackman JM. New techniques in hip fracture management. Mo Med. 2005 May-Jun;102(3):231-5. [15960047]
  5. Wehren LE, Magaziner J. Hip fracture: risk factors and outcomes. Curr Osteoporos Rep. 2003 Sep;1(2):78-85. [16036069]
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