© Mr Amer Karim (2016)
Mr Amer Karim
MBBS(London), DIC(Orth Eng), MD(Res)
FRCS(Trauma & Orth), FRSA(UK)
Consultant Trauma & Orthopaedic Surgeon
Full British Training & Specialist Certification
Hip Fracture (Broken Hip)
Why do hip fractures occur?
You can break your hip at any age, but it is most common after you are 65. Over this age the density of the minerals in the bone begins to decrease and the bone is more susceptible to a fracture (break). A hip fracture is a very serious injury, especially if you are older. However, the surgery is usually very effective although the recovery does take a long time and requires patience and persistence.
The better your health and mobility before a hip fracture, the quicker the more complete the recovery after the surgery.
What are the treatment options?
The treatment of hip fractures depends on the type of fracture sustained and the age and condition of the patient:
In young patients, all hip fractures are fixed, because this gives them the best chance of a normal hip
In older patients, the broken hip is either fixed (pinned) or replaced
In very rare cases, when patients are very old or very unwell, then no surgery is performed and the hip is left to mend on its own as best as possible (this is because the risks of the surgery are too great).
The decision to fix, or replace the broken hip depends on the type of the fracture: Some fracture configurations can be fixed and will heal well, while other configurations if fixed will not heal and therefore can only be replaced, either with a half hip replacement or a full hip replacement.
All decisions regarding treatment and choice of implant and fixation will be discussed with you and your family prior to the operation. I will also answer any questions you have before you sign a consent form so you are fully informed and can make the best decision.
Are there any risks?
With any operation there are risks, hip fractures are serious injuries and so there are some risks that you need to be aware of. The chances of these complications are low, usually less than 2%, however if they do occur, they are serious and so you should be aware of them:
Bleeding during or after the surgery (you may also require a blood transfusion)
Neuro / Vascular Injury
Blood clots in the legs (DVT) or lung (PE)
Haematoma (blood collection in the muscles)
Heart failure, heart attack or stroke
Non-union of the fracture
Leg length discrepancy
The procedure is made as safe as possible through experience and I have performed hundreds of these operations without incident.
Rehabilitation after a hip operation?
After the surgery, you will be left in bed to recover from the anaesthetic for the first day. The day after the surgery you should start sitting out in a chair and walking with aids and the help of the physiotherapists. You will still need to be in hospital for about a week, until your wound has settled down and you are able to walk to the toilet and around comfortably.
You will only be discharged from hospital once you are safe to do so. Upon discharge, it is advisable to stay with an able family member who can assist you while you continue your recovery. You should walk often and commence physiotherapy at home. Your wound stitches will be removed in about 2 weeks and you should keep the wound dry and covered up until then.
It takes 6 to 18 months to fully recover from a hip fracture and even then the recovery may not be complete, but this is because of the severity of the injury.
I will see you in my outpatient clinic 2 weeks after the surgery to check the wound and remove the stitches. I will then arrange regular long term follow up in my clinic to monitor your progress, depending on the surgery performed. Should you wish to see me sooner or if you have any other questions, please phone my secretary and she will book you in at a time of your convenience.
Want more information ?
More information can be found on my website:
What exercises should I perform after a hip fracture?