Hip fractures are usually the result of a traumatic injury, such as car accidents. They are also more common in older adults because bones weaken with age and the elderly are more susceptible to falls. Everyday activities, even standing, can cause hip fractures in people with very weak bones.
Hip fractures are serious injuries that require medical attention. Severe pain and inability to get up after a fall are the most common symptoms of hip fractures. Bruising and swelling around the hip, outward turning of the leg, one leg appearing shorter than the other, and stiffness are also possible.
Physicians are usually able to diagnose hip fractures based on symptoms and the appearance of the hip and leg. X-rays may be used to confirm the location and severity of the fracture.
Surgery is almost always required to treat a fractured hip. This may include internal repairs using screws and plates to realign the broken pieces of the femur. A partial or total hip replacement may also be necessary. After surgery, physical therapy will be used to restore strength and range of motion.