Treatment of Hip Fractures in the Elderly

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) there were up to 258,000 hospital admissions for hip fractures among people aged 65 and older in 2010. It is estimated that by 2030, the number of hip fractures will reach 289,000, which is an increase of 12%.

Most hip fractures in the elderly are caused by falls or trauma to the hip. Geriatric patients with osteoporosis are at a greater risk of hip fracture in the event of a fall.  Medical conditions and physical inactivity are among the other factors that contribute to hip fractures among older people.

Causes and Symptoms
A hip fracture occurs in the upper part of the femur or thigh bone. It may occur:

  • At the level of the neck and the head of the femur (intracapsular fracture)
  • Between the neck of the femur and a lower bony portion (femoral neck fracture)
  • Further down the femur (intertrochanteric fracture)

Severe pain in the hip and groin area, swelling, bruising and discomfort in rotating the hip are major symptoms of this fracture.

Treatment for Broken Hip
While severe and deep fractures can only be corrected through surgery, stable fractures can be treated with non-surgical interventions. Proper diagnosis of the fracture with x-rays and MRI is done to evaluate the extent of the injury and displacement. At professional healthcare centers, hip fracture treatment for the geriatric patients involves an effective combination of surgery, medication, rehabilitation services, and pain management.

Surgery can involve repair with metal screws and pins or removal of the damaged portion and placement of an artificial hip. If the fracture is a stable one or if the patient has a medical condition that precludes surgery, treatment would involve non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS), routine injections, analgesics, and muscle relaxant therapies.

During the follow-up phase, the orthopedic surgeon usually recommends rehabilitation options to help the patient walk. Physical therapy can greatly help with recovery. At a professional healthcare center, physical therapists work with patients to help them regain strength, function and mobility.

Geriatric fractures are preventable. Preventing hip fractures in the elderly is aimed at reducing the chances of falling. One of the most effective options is enrolment in a slip/fall prevention program offered by an established healthcare center. Programs involve a combination of solutions such as Gait training, Biodex Isokinetic Testing and home safety tips. Recognized centers will make the program affordable for geriatric patients by accepting most insurance plans including Medicare.

Make sure to enroll your hip fracture treatment from an established healthcare center that provides comprehensive treatment plan with the services of experience team of neurologists, pain management physicians, and physical therapists.