Hip Fracture

Hip fracture means fracture of proximal femoral bone. There are more types of possible fracture lines, but the most common is fracture of the so-called femoral neck. This seemingly trivial injury is very dangerous and the past it used to be practically a death sentence. Why is a common fracture so dangerous? Let’s find out.


The fracture is usually caused by a fall. Age is an important risk factor. The elderly people fall more frequently and their protective reflexes are impaired. In addition, bones of seniors are usually affected by osteoporosis. Even relatively minor accidents may result in fractures.


After the fall, the affected person can not get up, stand on the affected leg and suffers from pain in the broken hip. However, there are also many consequences. An old patient can not move, is brought to hospital, one must lie, the immune system is weakened and the condition is followed by some respiratory tract infection such as pneumonia. The infectious complications are the most common cause of death in patients after hip fractures. The only chance is rapid operation and postoperative rehabilitation.


The diagnosis is quite easily based on information about the recent fall, symptoms and X-ray of the affected bone, which shows the fracture.


Femoral neck fracture
Schema - typical place of femoral neck fracture



The only possible effective treatment is orthopedic operation. The surgery aims to stabilize the femoral bone and the hip joint and to the patient as quickly as possible to stand on his feet. The surgical intervention usually consists in hip joint replacement. Equally important is the follow-up care consisting of early rehabilitation, positioning, sufficient nutrition and administration of preventive dose of anticoagulants (prevention of deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism).


Jiri Stefanek, MD  Author of texts: Jiri Stefanek, MD
 Contact: jiri.stefanek@seznam.cz
 Sources: basic text sources