What to Expect with a Hip Fracture

by | Jun 26, 2012 | Healthcare

A hip fracture is very serious and requires immediate medical attention from an Austin orthopedic surgeon. The most common reason a hip fracture occurs is because of a fall, and older adults are at the highest risk of hip fracture because of weakened bone structure. The complications from a hip fracture can be life-threatening, and you should seek medical attention immediately.


A hip fracture results with the breaking of the femur. Any movement of the thigh will cause pain. You will not be able to stand or put pressure on your leg. The leg may also turn outward or appear shorter than the other leg.


The orthopedic surgeon in Austin will ask questions to determine if it is likely that you have fractured your hip. He will also use X-rays to get a good look at the hip joint. Some hip fractures do not show up on an X-ray, so MRI imagining may be necessary to help determine if you have a hip fracture.


Hip fractures will most often require surgery. As long as you are able to tolerate anesthesia, you will most likely undergo surgery, Open Reduction and Internal Fixation (ORIF), which involves replacing the hip joint with surgical hardware to hold your bones in place to allow them to heal. You will have to be hospitalized for this surgery and remain hospitalized for a few days after surgery. Depending on the type of hip fracture you have, the orthopedic surgeon in Austin may use metal rods or surgical screws to hold the bones in place once they are re-aligned.


Expect 6-8 weeks recovery time after hip fracture surgery. Each individual case is different, so recovery times may vary. Six to eight weeks is how long it takes for the actual fracture to heal, though real-time recovery may require longer. You will have to use a walker or crutches during recovery. Your orthopedic surgeon in Austin will monitor your healing process through the use of X-rays, and you will undergo physical therapy to strengthen your hip and help with balance and regaining the use of the hip. A raised toilet seat or shower chair will likely be needed in your home during your recovery time.

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