Treating a hip fracture
A fall or direct blow to the hip is what causes a hip fracture most of the time.
Decisions on how to treat your hip fracture can only start when you are first medically stable.
Most of the time, hip fractures are treated with surgery to repair the broken bones, but sometimes it's not recommended because of other health concerns—in which case there are other treatment options available.
Hip fractures are most often treated in one of the following ways:
- Metal pins: Two or three metal pins are used to hold the broken bones together while they heal.
- Metal plates and screws: A plate on the outside of the bone and a large screw are used to hold the broken pieces of bone in place while they heal.
- Intramedullary nail (IM nail): A rod on the inside of the bone and a large screw are used to hold the pieces in place.
- Artificial replacement: With a hemiarthroplasty (partial replacement), the ball of the femur is replaced with an artificial ball. A stem goes down into the thigh bone to hold the ball in position. The hip socket is left in place. With a total hip arthroplasty (total hip replacement), both the ball and the socket are replaced with an artificial hip. The artificial hip joint is made of metal and plastic parts.