Hip fractures break in the upper quarter of the femur bone and usually come from a fall or direct impact to the side of the hip. Occasionally, other conditions like cancer, osteoporosis, or stress injuries can weaken the bone and cause the hip to break more easily, especially in older patients. However, with specialized care, proper physical therapy, good nutrition and regular exercise, patients can often return to their everyday lives at home and make a full recovery.
A common misconception is that a hip fracture requires plenty of bed rest, but in truth, it's best to get patients up and moving as soon as possible after surgery. Getting up and getting going after surgery usually leads to a faster recovery time and fewer medical complications down the road, not to mention a better quality of life.
The most up to date facilities are designed to get the best results and diminish what can be the devastating effects of hip fractures in older patients. Treatment starts with the EMTs who respond to your call, so ask to be taken to a facility that specializes in hip fracture.
Ideally, surgery should happen quickly, within 24 hours of injury. Patients should receive a full medical evaluation, necessary pain medications, and appropriate tests, after which the care for each hip fracture patient is turned over to a team of specialists.
In best case scenarios, orthopaedic surgeons, hospitalists, orthopaedic nurses, physical therapists, occupational therapists, case managers, and social workers, all work together to help each patient recover fully and get up and moving as soon as possible after surgery.
The Orthopaedic Institute of Central Maine (OICM), supported by Central Maine Orthopaedics and Central Maine Medical Center, offers a best-practices surgical program that has patients recovering faster and returning to everyday activities sooner. For more information, call 207- 344-2288, or visit oicm.cmmc.org.