Hip fracture repair is a surgical procedure performed to stabilize and heal a broken hip bone. Hip fractures most commonly occur in older individuals due to weakened bones, often as a result of osteoporosis. The specific surgical technique used for hip fracture repair depends on the location and type of fracture, as well as the patient’s overall health and factors such as age and activity level.

Here is an overview of the surgical options for hip fracture repair:

1. Internal Fixation:

This procedure involves stabilizing the fractured hip bones using various implantable devices such as screws, plates, nails, or rods. The choice of implant depends on the fracture pattern and the surgeon’s preference. The implants help hold the broken bones in their proper position to promote healing. Internal fixation is commonly used for stable fractures, where the broken bone ends are relatively aligned.

    Hip Pinning: In hip pinning, also known as hip screw fixation, a large screw is inserted across the fracture site to stabilize the broken bone. This procedure is often used for stable fractures of the proximal femur, such as intertrochanteric or subtrochanteric fractures.

    Intramedullary Nailing: Intramedullary nailing involves inserting a metal rod into the central canal of the femur. The rod spans the fractured area, providing stability and support. This technique is often used for stable fractures of the femoral shaft.

2. Partial or Total Hip Replacement

In some cases, especially for older patients or fractures that are more complex or unstable, a partial or total hip replacement may be performed. This involves removing the damaged portions of the hip joint and replacing them with artificial joint components.

    Hemiarthroplasty: In hemiarthroplasty, only the femoral head (ball-shaped top of the thigh bone) is replaced with a prosthesis, while the natural acetabulum (socket) is preserved. This procedure is commonly performed for fractures of the femoral neck or head.

    Total Hip Replacement: Total hip replacement may be performed when there is significant damage to both the femoral head and the acetabulum. It involves replacing the entire hip joint with artificial components, including a metal stem inserted into the femur, a metal or ceramic ball, and a socket component made of metal, plastic, or ceramic.

The choice of surgical technique is determined by factors such as the type and location of the fracture, patient characteristics, and surgeon’s expertise. The goal of surgery is to stabilize the fracture, promote healing, relieve pain, and restore function.

Following surgery, rehabilitation and physical therapy play a crucial role in the recovery process. Physical therapy helps restore strength, mobility, and function of the hip joint. The duration and intensity of rehabilitation will vary depending on the individual’s condition and the type of surgery performed.

It’s important to note that hip fracture repair surgery carries certain risks and potential complications, including infection, blood clots, nerve or blood vessel injury, implant failure, and nonunion (failure of the bone to heal properly). Your orthopedic surgeon will discuss these risks with you and provide specific instructions for a successful recovery. At Alabama Bone and Joint Clinic our specialists are able to guide you through your treatment options. Call today to schedule an appointment with one of our experts in orthopedic care.