Elderly Hip Fracture: Top 4 Symptoms & Prevention Tips

Growing older comes with its own set of dangers and precautions that need to be taken to ensure that you avoid a variety of problems that could arise. As you age, your bones may become weaker and not be able to handle a fall or trip as they once could. One of the major causes for concern is a hip fracture in elderly generations. The hip fracture itself can lead to many other problems due to the inability to move it well and being down and out for a while to recover. Here are the top four symptoms of a hip fracture and a few prevention tips to protect you or your loved one.

Can Not Move

After your loved one or yourself has taken a fall, you may not be able to move right away. That can be a sure sign that your hip has fractured during the tumble. It may be very difficult or even impossible for you to get back up on your own.

Pain and Bruising

Another sure sign of a hip fracture is the severe pain that may be felt in your hip or groin area. This can be quite excruciating and can make it very difficult to function. You may also notice bruising and swelling in the hip area as well. Your loved one may feel a lot of stiffness as well in the hip area if they have fractured their hip.

Not Able to Put Weight on the Leg

If you’re dealing with a hip fracture in elderly loved ones, you may notice they cannot put weight on the leg that the hip is fractured on. They may try but cannot succeed as there is just too much pain in that joint area.

Outward Turning or Shorter Leg

You may notice that the leg on the injured side is turned outwards toward the foot in a way that is not natural for it to be. There also may be signs of one leg being shorter than the other when there is a hip fracture present.

Prevention Tips

A fractured hip in the elderly can be quite dangerous so there are a few prevention tips that should be taken into consideration. Be sure to always have assistance around if they have trouble standing or sitting down. Make sure that if there are rugs or carpets in the areas that your loved ones frequent that they are tacked down or remove them if possible. Be sure that the pathways and walkways are clear of items that could cause tripping. Do not have wheels on any of the chairs they use and be sure there is a chair or safety rails/handles in bathrooms. These items can help to prevent a very dangerous situation.

Femoroacetabular Impingement (FAI): Cause & Treatments

Femoroacetabular impingement (FAI) is a medical condition in which the bones of the hip are shaped abnormally. It usually occurs in the hip joint and since they do not fit perfectly, the hip bones tend to rub against each other, resulting in damage to the joint. Impingement refers to a certain portion of the soft tissues located in the hip joint getting pinched. Femoroacetabular refers to the impingement happening where the femur is in contact with the acetabulum or hip socket.

Causes

The exact cause of Femoroacetabular Impingement is still under considerable debate up till today. With advances in medical imaging techniques such as MRI, subtle changes in the shape of the femoral head might be the main cause of this injury. The problem occurs when the head of the femur knocks against the cartilage rim surrounding the acetabulum, pinching it in the progress.

In normal circumstances, the femoral head glides smoothly inside the hip socket as it is the perfect size. However, if the acetabulum cup is too shallow or small, the head is unable to obtain a perfect fit. In the case of FAI, the socket s too deep for the head to get a proper grip. When the femur bends and rotates, the cartilage gets pinched as a result. As time passes, this impingement can cause the edges surrounding the impingement site to get torn. With the combined effect of changes in the hip joint, the result repetitive motions can cause traumas to the hip joint, resulting in a partial or complete labral tear.

Nonsurgical treatment

The first step of treatment is nonsurgical and will involve modification to daily activities. Appropriate muscles will need to be strengthened in a bid to restore normal neuromuscular control. Tight and tense muscles surrounding the hip can contribute to pinching and strengthening it may lengthen the muscle and reduce impingement. Patients may also be administered intra-articular injection with a steroid medication to reduce inflammation.

Surgical treatment

Surgery is recommended when pain is persistent despite significant nonsurgical care. This usually indicates an obvious structural abnormality at the hip. Once surgery is decided, three options will be given to the patient: full open incision, arthroscopic surgery or osteotomy. Open incision involves dislocating the femur head from the socket to reshape it. In arthroscopic surgery, dislocation is not required. Instead, multiple small incisions are made to insert a robotic arm to do the necessary corrections. Osteotomy involves reshaping the socket for pincer-type impingement.

Hip Strains: Symptoms & Treatment

Our hip joint is a heavily used joint and it is designed to withstand such repeated loads and wear and tear. The entire hip joint is a ball and socket joint that is meant for fluid movement. When the hip is in use, the cartilage acts as a lubricant to cushion and minimise friction. Despite all these, the hip can be damaged. As time passes, the cartilage will start to wear off and so will the supporting muscles and connective tissues. The hip bone itself can also be broken due to a fracture. All of these possible scenarios will eventually lead to hip pain. Hip strains on the other hand occurs when the muscles that are supporting the hip joint is stretched to a limit beyond it is designed to. Strains can be minor or severe depending on the extent of such injury.

Causes

A hip strain is an acute injury meaning that it occurs suddenly. It can be caused by a direct trauma such as from a fall or blow during sports. It can also be caused by overuse after prolonged periods of usage with repetitive movement.

Symptoms

A hip strain will result in pain and tenderness in the affected area. Symptoms include:

  • Increased pain when the hip is in use such as walking, running or kicking
  • Localised swelling and redness in the hip
  • Loss of range of motion. Simple actions such as stretching or even attempting to cross a small hurdle is impossible
  • Weakness in the muscles

Nonsurgical Treatment

The first treatment administered will be nonsurgical and will involve the RICE method in addition to anti-inflammatory medication. The patient also needs to use walking aids such as walkers, crutches or wheelchair to reduce load bearing on the hips. Other treatments may also be administered:

  • Hot packs. Cold packs will reduce swelling and inflammation. On the other hand, hot packs will help to relieve pain and promote better blood circulation. This will expand the muscles and improve the range of motion.
  • Physical therapy. Physical therapy will help to strengthen the different muscle groups, promoting better muscle endurance and increase flexibility.

Surgical Treatment

If nonsurgical treatment does not help, surgery may be considered. This is usually for severe injuries in which the muscle fibers are torn and surgery is needed to stitch them back.

Most hip strains are treated successfully without surgery and depends on the existing health of the patient as well.

Hip Labral Tear: Symptoms & Treatments

Acetabular labrum tears involve the labrum which is essentially a ring of cartilage. The labrum acts as a rubber seal to securely hold the ball of the thighbone to the hip socket. A torn labrum will result in tremendous pain and stiffness as well as the loss of certain functions involving the hip. Active young adults are especially prone to this injury due to the nature of their activities. In order to continue an active lifestyle, surgery will be needed to repair the labrum. In this article, we will look at some of the symptoms and treatments for hip labral tears.

The symptoms of a hip labral tear is fairly straightforward. There will be pain experienced at the front side of the hip nearer to the groin area. During movements, a clicking and locking sound may be heard and this is due to the thighbone sliding in and out of the hip socket. As such, catching of the hip may also happen. Some patients may even experience their hip giving way and being unable to support their entire body weight. Pain is significant increased after periods of inactivity such as upon waking up in the morning. Some may even have to walk with a slight limp and require the use of a walking aid such as a crutch to move about.

Treatments are generally classified into two groups – Nonsurgical and surgical. Nonsurgical treatments are always the first line of treatment. At the initial stages of injury, plenty of rest is required. The body will heal itself only when it is at rest and this is important due to the large amount of inflammation building up at the hip joint. To better help combat inflammation, doctors may prescribe anti-inflammatory medications to aid in the subsiding of inflammation. Physical therapy is important during this stage in order to strengthen the hip muscles and regain the range of motion. If these treatments fail to work, a surgical treatment will be needed.

Hip arthroscopy is a minimally invasive surgery that requires small incisions to be made at the hip area. Through the help of robotic arms, the surgeon will then shave out the torn parts of the larbum and repair areas that can be repaired. Since the surgery is minimally invasive, a lengthy hospital stay is not needed.

Recovery will be completed within 6 to 8 weeks depending on the patient’s condition. Correcting this problem will help in the long term hip function and relief of pain at the hip joint.

Symptoms And Treatments For Osteoarthritis Of The Hip

Osteoarthritis is a degenerative disease that affects any joint in the body. One of the most common places is the hip due to the tremendous amount of stress and workload it faces day in day out. As we age, the cartilage in our joint will start to lessen due to wear and tear. You can simply imagine the cartilage to be a soft cushion located in between the joints and its main function is to absorb any shock experienced by that particular joint. Without this cushion, there will be a direct bone-to-bone interaction. When this occurs, pain and tenderness will kick in. There will be restricted mobility in that joint due to severe pain and simple daily activities can be difficult. Let’s look at some symptoms and treatments for hip osteoarthritis below.

Symptoms

The very first symptom one will experience is the discomfort at the hip joint. This pain is amplified after periods of inactivity such as sitting down for long periods or waking up from a sleep in the morning. When you start to work out the hip through activities such as walking or jogging, the pain is also increased tremendously. There may be also a cracking sound and feel experienced when you are using the hip.

Non-surgical treatment

The very first form of treatment a doctor will administer is medication to help manage the pain. It can come in either an oral or injection form. Some of the common oral medications are ibuprofen, naproxen and acetaminophen. These are usually strong enough to help control the pain adequately. However in serious cases, corticosteroid drugs may need to be injected directly into the hip for an immediate reduction in pain and swelling.

Surgical treatment

In serious cases where the pain persists despite medication treatment, a surgical treatment may be considered. The most common type is a total hip replacement surgery. The damaged bone and cartilage are removed entirely and replaced with man-made ones. The femoral head will be removed and a metallic stem will be placed into the hollow center of the femur. A ceramic ball will be placed at the upper stem and it acts as a replacement for the femoral head. Ceramics are preferred as they are much more biocompatible than metals. The worn out cartilage will also be removed and screws will be used to hold the socket in place. In order to provide a smooth surface, a ceramic spacer will be inserted to reduce coefficient of friction between the two surfaces.

Hip Surgery For Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is not a selective disease. This indicates that RA can occur in any joint in the body, destroying it and causing pain and bringing disability to the patient. RA usually attack joints that are located in the upper groin region but is not limited to that only. In the initial stages, any form of strenuous activities such as jogging, running or even carrying a heavy object can aggravate the pain. As it slowly progresses, it will start to affect the quality of sleep and lead to patients being disorientated. Hip surgery is one of the most effective treatment methods of RA and we will look into it in this article.

Total hip replacement (THR) is the most common form of surgical treatment for RA with the other being hip resurfacing. In THR, there are three different components for the implant; the stem, ball and socket. The stem will fit itself into the femur while the ball will replace the spherical head of the femur and finally the cup will replace the worn out hip socket. The materials used for the implant have specifically been chosen for the biocompatibility properties. This means that they will not react with the body fluids and chemicals and ultimately causing an undesired immune response from the host body. The materials are also resistant to corrosion and are long-lasting in the region of a decade or more. The mechanical properties are as good as or even better than the natural components of the hip.

THR will be performed in a sterile operating theatre that is free of bacteria in order to prevent infection. Patients will be given a general anesthesia jab, which will cause them to fall asleep throughout the surgery. An incision will be made along the side of the hips and can be as long as 25cm. However, this incision will not be visible as the clothes will be able to cover it decently. The diseased joint will be removed with a surgical saw and the bone will be cleaned and prep for the arrival of the new prosthesis. There will be proper drainage systems to remove blood from the region and when everything is over, sutures will be used to close up the incision.

As with all forms of surgery, there are risks involved. There will always be a slight chance of the formation of a blood clot and infection despite sterilizing the operating theatre.

Possible Benefits Of Total Hip Resurfacing Arthroplasty

Total hip resurfacing arthroplasty is a surgical procedure with the intention of restoring the function of a hip for a patient suffering from degenerative joint diseases. Some of the common degenerative joint diseases include osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and traumatic arthritis to name a few. It is one of the few surgical techniques that can help patients lead an active lifestyle, with the next common one being hip replacement surgery. In recent years, there has been an increase in interest with regards to hip resurfacing. This is largely due to the fact that the bone will be preserved in this case unlike traditional hip replacement, which requires the removal of the hip joint and replaced with an artificial one. In this article, we will discuss about some of the possible benefits of total hip resurfacing arthroplasty over other techniques.

Future proof

Unlike traditional hip replacement surgery, hip resurfacing is much more future proof. Both hip replacement and hip resurfacing uses a man-made component, which will eventually wear out over time. The implant is designed to last between 10 to 20 years before failure. Once failure occurs, a surgery will be performed to remove the failed component and replaced with a brand new one. In a hip replacement surgery, the bone is removed from the femur and revision surgery will be made more difficult. Instead, hip resurfacing does not remove the bone from the femur. Therefore, replacement of the implants is much more simpler, effectively future-proofing it.

Less risk of dislocation

The hip joint is essentially a ball and socket joint, which allows a wide range of motion. In a hip resurfacing surgery, the replacement ball is much bigger than the one used in hip replacement with dimensions closed to the original one. Since it provides a tighter fit, it is much more difficult to fall out of the joint. Thus, dislocation risks are restricted.

Increased range of motion

Patients who choose hip resurfacing over hip replacement tend to enjoy an increased range of motion. This is due to the fact that bone was not removed from the body and the ball and socket joint is fitted better.

Natural walking stance

Patients who had undergone hip resurfacing will be able to walk more naturally compared to patients who did hip replacement. There will be minimal limping and the hip is able to perform close to what it could previously.

Recovery from a total hip resurfacing surgery will take roughly 6 weeks. Throughout this period, physical therapy will be required to prevent scarring and regain the strength and range of motion.

Why Does My Hip Keep Popping?

Popping in the hip is medically known as snapping hip syndrome or dancer’s hip. It is characterised by a popping or snapping sound when movements such as running, jumping or walking are made. Often, hip popping is more of an annoyance rather than hindrance. However, this does not mean that a snapping hip is harmless. Some people who lead an active lifestyle like a dancer or runner may experience pain in the hip after some time. So what exactly is causing the popping sound in the hip?

Snapping hip is due to a muscle or tendon moving over an uneven surface in the hip. Some common areas are the lateral part of the hip where the iliotibial bands passes over the thigh bone. Upon movements such as standing up, the iliotibial band will slide over the front of the trochanter, causing a popping sound to occur. Another culprit are the iliopsoas tendon which is connected to the medial upper thigh and the rectus femoris tendon. During movements which involves the bending and straightening of the hip, popping will occur.

Popping can also occur due to tears in the hip labrum. The hip labrum is a group of cartilage tissues that are responsible for providing stability to the hip joint. When there are tears in the labrum, the hip becomes unstable and is shaky. This will lead to popping and squeaking sounds occurring when walking. Unlike the previous few causes, this is painful and will require medication or even surgery. Cartilage tears can also cause locking of the hip, causing snapping to occur and causing pain and disability. Femoral acetabular impingement (FAI) is caused by high amounts of friction within the hip joint itself. This is usually due to birth defects where there is an abnormality in the acetabulum. This is much more serious and will require surgery to treat it. In order to further diagnose it, an X-Ray will be required to ensure that the cause is not due to an existing bone problem located in the hip region.

A snapping or popping hip can be disturbing when you are walking around. In some cases, it is painless whereas in others, it can cause a hindrance to daily activities. In many cases however, they can be corrected using simple stretches and exercises. Unless they cause pain to you, a visit to the doctor is often not required at all and it does not affected your quality of life.

What Are The Advantages Of Minimally Invasive Surgery For Hip Replacement?

Medical technology is constantly evolving for the better. There are better and faster diagnostic equipments, robots to assist in surgery and safer anaesthesia techniques. With these advances in technology, surgery now is a lot lower in risk, shorter recovery time and less discomfort for patients. One of the greatest surgical development is the usage of minimally invasive surgery. In this article, we will be talking about the advantages of minimally invasive surgery for hip replacement.

During a minimally invasive surgery procedure, tiny incisions instead of large openings are made. Due to its extremely small nature, the risk of infections is much lower and recovery time is significantly reduced. Patients will also feel less discomfort compared to traditional surgery procedures with no strings attached. In order to qualify as a minimally invasive surgery, incisions no more than 4 inches can be made.

In traditional open hip replacement surgery, surgeons will have to make a 12 inch incision at the thigh area which cuts through the tendons and muscles in order to reach the hip joint. This will not only cause trauma to the area but also large amounts of blood loss. Not only that, the hip must be dislocated by physical means and this will cause tissue damages to the surrounding tissues as well. Through minimally invasive hip replacement surgery called the MIS 2-Incision Hip Replacement procedure, 2 small incisions are made over at the buttock and groin. This will allow access to the femur and socket with little to none trauma on the tissues and leaving the muscles untouched. Through the tiny incisions, robotic arms will place the prosthetics precisely between muscles, eliminating the chances of misalignment.

Patients can get out of their bed in as little as a few hours post surgery as compared to days when open surgery is performed. This will cut down the hospital stay to an average of 2 days as compared to 4 days, saving the patient hefty medical bills. Patients will also be able to start their physical therapy faster, reducing the recovery time. Most importantly, the patient will feel significantly less pain and discomfort.

Despite the many advantages of minimally invasive hip replacement surgery, it is not meant for everyone. Patients who are obese or have existing bone problems such as osteoporosis are not recommend. Minimally invasive surgery is also a complex procedure and hours of fine tuning in skills is required.

How Can I Manage Pain After My Total Hip Replacement Surgery?

Patients who are scheduled for a total hip replacement surgery will often have many questions about the procedure, and the most common being pain management. Most patients want to know how to overcome the initial pain barrier and how to live with it during the recovery period. They want to be able to sleep well and not be woken up in the middle of the night drenched in cold sweat from the pain. In this article, we will look at ways to manage pain after hip replacement surgery.

Pain is essentially a chemical reaction occurring in the body. Different people have different pain tolerance levels so it is very subjective. Therefore, pain management usually requires a certain level of expectations on the patient’s part. Hip replacement surgery will definitely bring about significant inconvenience of the need for prolonged periods of immobility and rest in order to allow the body to kick start the healing process. Our body repairs the muscles and tissues when we are at rest.

In the initial stages of post surgery, minimal motion is recommended. Often by the 10th day, the pain level will be bearable without the need for oral medications to suppress it. Patients during this stage will start to use walking aids such as crutches and walkers to aid them in their movements. Whenever feasible, you should always try to use ice to help relief the swelling and bring down the pain. With advances in technology, reusable gel packs that are capable of staying cold for long periods of time are available and this offers a much better option for patients.

Pain relief medications are a must. Otherwise, the pain may get so unbearable that you cannot do anything. However, always remember to use medication in conjunction with ice packs in order to reduce the dependency on drugs.

Elevating the legs will also help to bring down swelling. This can be done almost everywhere. Regular elevation of the leg coupled with icing and medication will help bring down the pain to a new low. Physical therapy will also be required by the patient for up to a year depending on the recovery level. Physical therapy helps the patient to regain range of motion, build up muscles and strengthen the injured area in order to prevent re-injury.

Pain management after hip replacement surgery is fairly straight forward. Lots of rest is needed followed by regular consumption of pain relief medication, icing, elevation and physical therapy. The initial stages may be difficult at first but persevere on and the results will be all worthwhile.