Hip fracture

If you or a loved one fell and now have severe pain, stiffness or swelling in and around your hip area, you may have a hip fracture. A hip fracture is a break in the upper quarter of the thigh bone.

More than 95 percent of hip fractures are caused by falling. It is a serious injury, but we can get you back on your feet again. The Orthopedic Centers at Edward-Elmhurst Health provide expert, integrated care for hip fractures.

Treatment for hip fracture

Hip fracture almost always requires surgery to repair the break. Ideally, patients should undergo surgery to treat a hip fracture within 48 hours of the fall, to reduce the risk of complications and improve outcomes.

Since hip fractures are unexpected and typically caused by a fall, you may need to be transported to the Emergency Department of an Edward-Elmhurst hospital for immediate attention.

Once at the hospital, you’ll meet with one of our board-certified orthopedic surgeons. Your surgeon will clearly outline goals and expectations of treatment with you and your family.

We use the latest techniques and procedures to repair hip fractures and get you up and moving as soon as possible. The type of surgery you receive is based on where the fracture is and how severe, your age, any co-existing medical conditions and other individual factors. Surgery may include partial or full hip replacement and possibly screws.

Who experiences hip fractures?

Most people who experience a hip fracture are age 65 and older. Women experience three-quarters of all hip fractures. Many have osteopenia (occurs when the body doesn't make new bone as quickly as it reabsorbs old bone) or osteoporosis (occurs when bones become weak and brittle). You could fall and break your hip, or your condition may cause you to break your hip and fall.

How can you prevent a hip fracture?

Primary care physicians (PCPs) provide education about how to prevent hip fractures, including:

  • Environmental changes to avoid falls (fix loose carpeting, avoid stairs, keep electrical cords against the wall, avoid small dogs underfoot, keep rooms and hallways well-lit, etc.)
  • Osteoporosis prevention and early osteoporosis intervention to maintain bone density (try weight-bearing exercises to strengthen bones and improve balance, get enough calcium and vitamin D, eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, etc.)

What is recovery like after hip fracture surgery?

After surgery for a hip fracture, patients often stay in the hospital for 2-3 days. Patients who do well enough are able to go home for home health. They have home physical therapy for a week or two and then transition to outpatient therapy for about three weeks. Other patients may need to go to a skilled nursing facility for a few weeks first before going home.

As you recover from hip fracture surgery, our orthopedic team —including your orthopedic surgeon, PCP and physical therapist — will work closely with you to get you up and walking as soon as possible. Most patients can return to full weight-bearing soon after surgery. Your orthopedic team will use multimodal pain relief to control your pain (most patients are off of narcotics within a week or two).

Learn more about orthopedic rehabilitation at Edward-Elmhurst Health.

Why choose us for hip fracture treatment?

Our Orthopedic Centers provide a state-of-the-art environment with a personalized touch. Our orthopedic surgeons are fellowship trained with years of experience in performing hip fracture repair procedures. Our anesthesiologists are attuned to the challenges of hip fractures, and are committed to treating high-risk patients within the recommended 24-48 hours after the fracture.

Throughout your hip fracture care, your entire orthopedic team, including orthopedic surgeons, hospitalists, PCPs and physical therapists, collaborate to provide integrated treatment. The team approach lends itself to earlier surgery, earlier ambulation and better outcomes. We’ll get you moving again and back to your life as soon as possible.