Hip fracture

Man with hip pain

​A hip fracture occurs when there’s a crack or complete break in the upper area of the thigh (femur) bone. This injury is serious and requires immediate medical attention. A fracture can happen anywhere along the hip bone, while a hip dislocation only occurs in the hip joint. 

A broken hip typically results from injury, trauma or a fall. 

Hip fracture is a common injury that mostly affects older people with osteoporosis or certain types of cancer. A broken hip in an aging adult is a serious injury and the complications from such an injury can be life-threatening.

Types of hip fractures are:

  • Femoral neck fracture—the fracture occurs one to two inches from the hip joint.

  • Intertrochanteric fracture—the break is three to four inches from the hip joint.

  • Subtrochanteric—occurs near the hip joint in the upper part of the thigh bone. 

Hip fracture symptoms  

Symptoms of a hip fracture include: 

  • An injured leg that turns inward or outward

  • Deformity in the injured leg 

  • Inability to use joint/walk normally 

  • Pain in the outer thigh or groin

  • Redness 

  • Swelling 

  • Weakness 

Hip fracture diagnosis 

The diagnosis of a hip fracture often happens in the emergency room. Your doctor will ask questions about recent injuries or falls and do a physical exam. 

When a hip fracture is suspected, you may have one of the following imaging tests: 

  • X-ray/CT Scan—a diagnostic test used to determine if a hip fracture has occurred. 

  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)—a machine that takes multiple pictures of the hip bones. An MRI can show fractures that may not show up on regular X-rays.

Hip fracture treatment 

  • Different types of hip fractures require specific types of treatment. Experts at The Christ Hospital Health Network will evaluate your fracture and determine the most appropriate treatment path. 

  • Additionally, any of the following options may be combined with or added to your hip fracture treatment plan: 

  • Analgesic medications—for pain relief. 

  • Limited activities—restricting movement for a period of time.

  • Physical therapy—uses exercises, assistive devices and other non-surgical treatments to restore hip movement and physical function.

  • RICE—rest, ice, compression and elevation. 

  • Surgery—if the hip fracture is significantly displaced, surgery Most hip fractures in the elderly are treated with some type of surgical procedure.

Whether you have a broken hip from an injury, fall or bone disease, The Christ Hospital Health Network orthopedic team will evaluate and diagnose the source of your hip pain quickly.

Find a hip specialist near you.