How is a hip fracture treated?
Most people who have hip fractures will need surgery to make sure the leg heals properly. Your doctor will discuss your surgery options with you.
Some people are unable to have hip surgery because of an illness or poor health. If your doctor doesn't think it's safe for you to have surgery, you will be put into traction to help your hip heal. Traction keeps you immobile for a long period of time.
What can I expect after surgery?
Your doctor can tell you when you should try to stand or walk after surgery. It may be painful to walk at first. You may need a walker or cane for assistance for several months after surgery.
You may need to see a physical therapist as part of your recovery. In physical therapy, you'll learn to sit, stand and walk without reinjuring your hip. You'll also do exercises to help you get stronger.
When you return home after your surgery, you may need some help from a home nurse or family member. Daily tasks may be difficult to perform while you aren't able to move around very well. A family member or nurse can help you with your daily tasks, such as bathing, cooking and shopping.
Management of Hip Fracture: The Family Physician's Role by SS Rao, M.D., and M Cherukuri, M.D. (American Family Physician June 15, 2006, http://www.aafp.org/afp/20060615/2195.html)
Written by familydoctor.org editorial staff