A hip fracture refers to a break in the neck area of the femur. There are many types of fractures and the recommended treatment will depend on the severity and type. In some cases, a fracture may be repaired through reduction or realignment surgery. This is not always possible or successful in older patients as the blood supply to the femoral head can be diminished leading to postoperative complications if treated with conventional nails or plates. If the femur is damaged to this extent, I may recommend hip replacement surgery. This may involve the replacement of the head of the femur (ball) or a total hip replacement, in which case both the ball and socket are replaced with artificial materials.
Sometimes, a hip fracture is managed with the use of screws or nails, which are fixed to the inner surface of the bone. The nails allow for greater stability and help to speed up the recovery process and allow early mobilisation which is the goal of surgery.