3 Major Factors That Affect Hip Fracture Treatment

May 7th 2016

If you are unlucky enough to suffer a hip fracture, talk with your doctor about your choices. Your health, the location of the fracture and your predicted recovery are important factors in deciding which operation is right for you to ensure your recovery is as rapid as possible.

Type of Fracture

Where the fracture is on your femur is an important consideration for your doctor when considering the type of surgery. Internal fixation uses devices such as pins, rods, screws or plates to hold the bone in place while it heals. It is usually used for fractures outside the socket of the hip joint or fractures inside the socket of the hip joint that are still in place. However, when internal fixation is used for such intracapsular fractures inside the socket, multiple follow-up appointments are needed to ensure the joint does not move later. Another option for intracapsular fractures is hemiarthroplasty, where the top of the femur is replaced with a prosthesis.

Bone Health

If you have arthritis or another inflammatory condition, your doctor may choose to send you for a complete hip replacement, replacing both the femur joint and the hip socket with prostheses. This is more radical surgery, but it prevents later deterioration of the joint.

Physical Mobility

The right choice of operation also depends on your physical activity level. If you are sedentary or immobilized, hemiarthroplasty is a preferred option. If, however, you are very active, your doctor may suggest a full hip replacement to ensure you only have one set of surgery for recovery. This is because heavy activity on a partially healed fracture can cause more damage; the more serious operation may be justified to allow you to resume your usual levels of activity as soon as possible.


Hip fractures are painful and potentially life-changing. It is therefore vital they are treated promptly and correctly, and most patients receive surgery as soon as they are admitted to a hospital or the following day. However, the correct type of surgery for a break is affected by numerous factors.

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