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Dealing with hip fracture after a fall

A hip fracture due to a fall is a very serious condition. Not all falls are severe enough to break a hip bone. These falls can only result to bruising and swelling of the hip, stiffness and pain. It can also cause discomfort if the muscles and tendons are injured.

A hip fracture is a break in the upper quarter of the femur or thigh bone. The severity of the break depends on the involved forces. Conditions such as osteoporosis and stress injuries make the hips susceptible to a break.

Symptoms of hip fracture

  • Difficulty in moving immediately after the injury
  • Significant pain in the hip or groin
    hip-fracture

    Take the prescribed non-steroidal anti-inflammatory pain medications such as ibuprofen to lessen the pain and swelling.

  • Rigidity, bruising and inflammation in and around the affected area
  • Difficulty in putting weight on the leg on the side of the affected hip.
  • Shorter leg on the side of the affected hip
  • The leg turns outward on the side of the affected hip
  • Pain can be felt over the outer upper thigh or the groin
  • Pain when flexing or rotating the hip

Treatment

  • Take plenty of rest as much as possible. The body needs plenty of time to heal. Avoid putting weight on the injured hip.
  • Use a walker, cane or crutches for moving around with the help of a physical therapist.
  • Apply an ice pack on the affected area to lessen the pain and swelling immediately after the injury. Another alternative is using a cold washcloth on the injured hip.
  • Apply pressure on the affected hip to lessen the swelling and pain. Place a small pillow on the hip and compress it tightly against the affected area. Another alternative is wrapping the area using a bandage to lessen the inflammation and pain.
  • Lay on the non-affected hip to keep the painful hip elevated to lessen discomfort and inflammation by reducing pressure placed on the affected area and allow drainage of excess fluid. Place a pillow between the legs for proper alignment of the leg. It also lessens the stress placed on the joint. Place a pillow on the back when there is difficulty lying on the side.
  • Take the prescribed non-steroidal anti-inflammatory pain medications such as ibuprofen to lessen the pain and swelling.
  • Seek the help of a physical therapist for some strengthening exercises for the hip. Another alternative is swimming for strengthening and stretching of the muscles without putting strain on the hip.

Tips

  • Increase the intake of calcium and vitamin D.
  • Perform regular exercises to strengthen the bones and improve balance of the body such as walking. Exercise increases the overall strength of the body and lessen the risk for falls.
  • Quit smoking and excessive drinking.

Disclaimer / More Information

The material posted on this page on a hip fracture is for learning purposes only. Learn to recognize and manage fractures by taking a first aid and CPR class with one of our training providers.

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