Hip fracture

Hip fracture

Synonyms: Femoral fracture


The hip is the joint where the femur (thigh bone) meets the pelvis (hip bone). There are two main parts: a ball at the end of the femur, which fits in a socket in the pelvis. As a result, the hip is known as a ball-and-socket joint. This joint makes hips very stable and allows for a wide range of motion. When hip bones are healthy (free of disease), it takes great force to injure them. However, playing sports, running, overuse, or a car accident can sometimes lead to hip injuries such as a fracture. If the bones of the hip are not healthy (for example, if the bones are weakened because of a bone disease such as osteoporosis), then a fall might result in a broken (fractured) hip. A hip fracture is a break in a bone in the hip.

Symptoms of a fracture include: intense pain; swelling, bruising, or tenderness around the break; numbness and tingling; and difficulty moving the hip or leg. A hip fracture requires immediate medical attention. Sometimes the treatment for a hip fracture is a hip replacement. Hip replacement is surgery for people with severe hip damage. During a hip replacement operation, the surgeon removes damaged cartilage and bone from your hip joint and replaces them with new, man-made parts. The most common problem after surgery is hip dislocation; the ball can come out of its socket. The surgery can also cause blood clots and infections. After a hip replacement certain activities such as jogging and high-impact sports might need to be avoided.

Adapted from MedlinePlus, Health Topics, Hip Injuries and Disorders at https://medlineplus.gov/hipinjuriesanddisorders.htmlandMedlinePlus, Health Topics, Fractures at https://medlineplus.gov/fractures.htmlandMedlinePlus, Health Topics, Hip Replacement at https://medlineplus.gov/hipreplacement.html