A Broken Hip Guide

A broken hip is a serious injury, sometimes fatal, that will always require NHS treatment. Within this short guide you will learn the symptoms, causes and treatment of a fractured hip.

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What is a Broken Hip?

Broken hip pictures show that a fractured hip is a break in either the hip joint itself or in one of the bones close to the hip joint. A hip fracture is a serious injury, one that almost always requires surgery to help fix. Furthermore, a hip fracture in elderly people is a dangerous injury, with a shockingly high mortality rate during the recovery phase.

Broken Hip Key Facts

Decades ago, hip fractures were far less common than they are today, and hip fracture treatment without surgery was much more common as well. This is due to the fact that the average age a person lived too, was much lower. Today, we live much longer, which means that many more people are developing bone conditions such as osteoporosis (a weakening of the bones). This means that for older people, a simple slip, trip or fall can lead to a severe injury such as a broken hip elderly mortality rate following a hip fracture that has required surgery as part of its treatment is very high.

It is estimated that in 2017, there were approximately 18 million people in the world who were suffering from some form of bone weakening ailment. Primarily these people are over 65 years of age. Of these people, over 1.5 million of them suffered a bone fracture of some type in 2017. The second most common fracture was a broken hip in the elderly.

Broken Hip Graph

Broken Hip Statistics

What are the Signs and Symptoms of a Broken Hip?

When suffering a broken hip elderly and also younger people will usually display some pretty serious symptoms. A broken hip is a painful injury, the answer to the question, can you still walk with a broken hip? is definitely no. These are the main broken hip symptoms:

  • Significant levels of pain – a broken leg If you are unlucky enough to fracture your hip you will be in no doubt about it due to the high level of pain.
  • Inability to move, rotate or left the leg at the hip – if the hip is broken, it will require broken hip surgery to realign the bones, so that the joint can function again.
  • If you have a broken hip can you walk? – No, you cannot, if you can’t put weight on your leg and stand, you likely have fractured your hip.
  • There may be bruising – and also swelling of the leg around the hip joint.
  • Your injured leg may appear shorter – if the hip joint has entirely collapsed.
  • Your leg may be turned outwards – indicating that the hip joint is fractured.
  • Hairline hip fracture symptoms – will be similar to the symptoms of a full fracture but may not be as pronounced.

These are the primary symptoms of a broken hip. A hip fracture in elderly people is a very serious injury, you must seek medical attention immediately.

What Are the Most Common Causes of a Broken Hip?

Although there are many causes of a broken hip that will lead to the patient needing hip fracture treatment, there are four that are much more common than others, and these are:

  • Unbroken falls – when a person falls from a moderate height, such as from a roof or a long ladder, if they land on a hard surface either on their side, or feet first, a hip fracture can occur.
  • Blunt trauma to the hip – such as the trauma caused by a high-speed car crash.
  • Medical conditions which cause weakened bones – osteoporosis for example, which is a very common disease suffered by elderly people.
  • Obesity – people who are seriously overweight apply far too much pressure to the hip bones when they walk, which can lead to either hairline fractures, or a full break.

These are the most common causes of a broken hip, there are, of course, many more.

When Should You Seek Medical Care for a Broken Hip?

If you have suffered any of the symptoms outlined above, after an accident that could have damaged your hip, you will need to get medical attention straight away. This is a critical stage of hip fracture recovery for elderly people. In people over 65, a broken hip is a traumatic injury, which can put the entire body into shock, and in extreme cases, cause death. This is the general answer to the question, why is a hip fracture so dangerous? Older people simply cannot stand the shock and trauma of such a serious injury. Even after they have been treated at the hospital, the mortality rate for the elderly who have suffered a fractured hip is around 5 times base line.

You will need to call an ambulance, as you will have to be put on a stretcher to get you to the hospital. Do not try and walk, even with assistance.

If you have fallen at home, and no one is around to help you, don’t move. Stay where you are and try shouting or banging on the floor to raise the alarm. Moving is one of the worst things you can do, you are far better waiting a while until you can raise help than try and crawl to the telephone.

How to Get a Free Expert Orthopaedic Assessment for Your Broken Bone Report

As part of the broken hip treatment, you will receive at the hospital, an x-ray will be taken of your broken hip. The results of which will help your doctor with hip fracture classification of your specific injury. The doctor will use the results of this x-ray to create a unique broken bone report for your injury. You can request a copy of this broken bone report to take home.

Once you have your broken bone report, we might be able to arrange for you to receive a free expert orthopaedic opinion of the report. Call us now to find out if this free private medical care is available in your area.

How is a Broken Hip Diagnosed?

When you arrive at the hospital before you can receive proper treatment and begin your broken hip healing a doctor will need to diagnose your injury. This will begin with a consultation, during which the doctor will ask questions such as:

  • How and where did the accident happen?
  • Have you had a similar injury in the past?
  • Do you have any long-term medical conditions?
  • Have you take any medication recently, or eaten or drank anything in the last few hours?

Once the doctor has assessed your general condition, and they believe you may have broken a hip that will require hip fracture surgery you will have your condition stabilised, and then you will be moved to an orthopaedic ward.

As soon as possible, an orthopaedic surgeon will visit you, and call for one of a number of tests, so that they may discern how severe your injury is. The test will either be an x-ray, a CT scan or an MRI scan.

How is a Broken Hip Treated?

In most cases treating a broken hip requires surgery. It is recommended that surgery for a broken hip is carried out within 48 hours of a person being admitted to hospital. As has already been mentioned in this guide, a fractured hip is a traumatic injury, especially for old people, and the longer it is left untreated, the higher the risk of death through shock and trauma.

In around 50% of cases, either a full or partial hip replacement will be needed. The remaining 50% of cases will have reconstruction surgery to pin the hip bones back together with surgical fixings such as screws, plates and pins.

Deciding whether to go the replacement route or the reconstructive surgery routes is decided based on a person’s age, their general health, the condition of their bones and their level of mobility prior to the accident.

What Free Private Treatment Can I Qualify For?

If you were to view a number of broken hip surgery pictures you would see that a fractured hip is a very serious injury. NHS treatment works, but it is designed around providing medical care at the lowest cost. Private medical treatment is generally of much better quality.

You might be able to claim some form of free medical care in your area. Just give is a quick call, and once we know your postcode, we can check to see what local free private medical treatment you might be eligible for.

Caring for Your Broken Hip at Home

Proper self-care of your injury once you have been discharged from the hospital is key in ensuring that your broken hip recovery is as quick and as full as possible. The tips below will help you to care for your fractured hip once you are at home.

  • Rest and immobility – you are going to need to rest your broken hip for at least several weeks. This means you may be bedridden and require help taking care of yourself for a while. Elderly people will generally be able to get some form of care assistance for this.
  • Pain management – you will probably be given a course of painkiller before you leave the hospital. Do not exceed the stated dose and be sure to contact your doctor if the pain of your broken hip does not subside after a few days or gets worse.
  • Don’t be tempted to walk – even if you find you can stand without pain. Your hip will take time to heal, and it must be immobile whilst it does.
  • Don’t miss your follow up appointments – these are critical points along the recovery timeline, especially if you have had a full or partial hip replacement. Your doctor needs to check that you are recovering properly at these appointments.

Is There Any Other Good Treatment I Can Get for Free?

You may be eligible to claim some additional free private medical care for your broken hip. For example, you might be able to receive a free wheelchair, to help you get around whilst your hip is healing.

Call us now, and we can let you know almost immediately if we think there is any additional free private medical care available in your area.

Follow Up for a Broken Hip

An important part of your hip fracture rehabilitation is the constant monitoring of your recovery through follow up appointments and check-ups. You will likely have to visit the hospital every two weeks whilst you are recovering. This is so that the doctor can check you are healing properly, and also check that neither of the medical conditions below has cropped up:

  • Vascular or avascular necrosis – this term is used to describe a medical condition where blood flow to the femoral head (the top of the long bone in your leg). If this occurs, the bone is weakened, and if left untreated, will eventually turn gangrenous.
  • Blood clots – these usually occur in the leg, and if left untreated can move, sometimes into the lung, which could cause a fatal pulmonary embolism.

How Long Does a Broken Hip Take to Heal?

For average people, a broken hip will heal within 6 weeks. However, broken hip elderly recovery time is usually much longer. If you have had a partial or full hip replacement, your rehabilitation once the injury has healed will be lengthy. For younger, fit people rehabilitation will take around 4 months. For older people, this could be as long as a year.

How Can I Recover Safer and Possibly Faster?

As has been mentioned above, the rehabilitation period for a fractured hip is lengthy. One way that rehabilitation can be speeded up, is through private physiotherapy. The hip fracture recovery exercises that will get you up and walking again after your hip surgery.

You may be able to claim some free private physiotherapy, give us a call and we can let you know if there is any free physio available in your area.

What is the Prognosis for a Broken Hip?

The prognosis for recovering from a broken hip depends very much upon the age of the patient and the severity of their injury.

For people under 65, who have had a full or partial hip replacement, the prognosis is generally good, they should return to an active life within 6 to 8 months.

For people over 65, the prognosis is not so good. Seldom do elderly people make a full recovery following a fractured hip. They may recover some mobility, but it is likely they will need a walking aid such as a frame, at the very least. In many cases, especially those that had complications with the treatment, the patient may well be wheelchair bound for the rest of their life.

Furthermore, the shock and trauma of the injury, and the common dire complications that can set in during recovery means that the over 65 age group is approximately 5 times more likely die during fractured hip recovery than those under 65.

What are the Possible Complications of a Broken Hip?

There are a number of serious complications that can occur when recovering from a broken hip, and many minor ones such as pain after hip pinning surgery the major complications are:

  • Infection – directly due to the surgery required to fit a partial or complete hip replacement. Only around 3% of cases actually suffer from an infection after hip replacement surgery, yet this is still a large number of people each year
  • Blood clots – which can form in the legs, and then move to another part of the body with potentially fatal results. Regular check-ups during recovery can help prevent these clots, as your doctor will check for them every time you visit.
  • Bedsores – or pressure ulcers, where the patient has spent too long in a fixed position either in bed or sitting up.

Do You Think Your Doctor Might Have Missed Something About Your Injury?

Do you suspect that your broken hip recovery time has been longer than it should have been? Do you think that your treatment has been wrong, or carried out badly? If so, you need to educate yourself about your injury and its treatment. These websites below give far more in-depth information about fractured hip injuries:

Hip Fracture Information – NHS

Osteoporosis Information – NHS

Hip Replacement Information – NHS

Are There Any Long-Term Health Issues Caused by a Broken Hip?

There is a considerably dangerous long-term side effect of fractured hip injuries. Primarily due to the seriousness of the injury and the trauma and shock effect on the body, even long after recovery.

Studies have shown, that mortality rate of broken hip sufferers is 5 to 8 times that of the norm, for up to 2 years after the injury occurred. An increased risk of death is ongoing, although the chance does reduce after 10 or more years.

Recent studies show that the risk may never diminish entirely, even though the patient may seem to have made a perfect recovery and adapted to life with a replacement hip perfectly.

If you have had a fractured hip in the past, it is vitally important that you make regular appointments with your doctor, so that you can have your overall health checked, and hopefully avoid the serious long-term side effects of a fractured hip injury.

Contact Us to Find Out if You Qualify for Free Private Treatment

If you have recently been treated for a broken hip, then due to the severity of the injury, you owe it to yourself to make sure that you receive the best medical treatment possible. NHS treatment is good, but private medical treatment is usually far better.

You might find that you are eligible to claim some form of free private medical care, based on your postcode. The types of free medical treatment you could receive includes:

  • A free expert orthopaedic assessment of your fractured hip broken bone report.
  • Free medical supplies such as a high-quality wheelchair.
  • Enhanced private physiotherapy that will help you rehabilitate from your fractured hip far faster.

If you would like to find out if you are eligible to claim these types of free medical care, then you just need to give us a quick call. Once we have your postcode, we can check to see if there are any free private health care offers in your area. So call us now, you really have nothing to lose.