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.

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.

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.

How Do I Know If I Need Hip Replacement Surgery?

Hip replacement surgery is not something that everyone needs. However due to certain medical conditions such as osteoarthritis, hip replacement surgery may be the only way to get back a good quality of life. The choice is still ultimately up to you on whether to undergo hip replacement surgery or to take pain relief medication to tide you through. Let’s discuss on how you know if you really need surgery.

Unbearable pain and stiff hips

When pain gets unbearable and hips are always stiff, simple actions such as climbing the stairs, walking and even standing can be extremely difficult. Pain relief medication can only help you to overcome pain for certain duration and cannot be used forever. Therefore, when your osteoarthritis is this bad, hip replacement surgery is the only option available for you in order to get back a good quality life.

Bone damages

Due to osteoarthritis, bones are damaged and the bones are unable to regenerate and grow again. The joint cartilages are also disintegrated and no form of medication or physical therapy can help to repair it. When damages to the bone happen, hip replacement surgery will be required to repair it.

Alternative treatments failed

Surgery will usually be the last option that your surgeon will consider. Usually, he will prescribe you pain relief medication followed by physical therapy in order to help you regain flexibility in your joints and strengthen the surrounding muscles. However when all these treatments fail, surgery will be the only option left.

Conditions with no known cure

Rheumatoid arthritis is an auto-immune disease where the body’s immune system attacks the joint mistakenly instead of protecting it. The body does not recognise it as its own and treats it as something foreign and will continuously attack it until it is no longer there. There is no known cure for rheumatoid arthritis yet and patients who suffer from it must undergo hip replacement surgery in order to recover.

Above are 4 common scenarios where a hip replacement surgery needs to be considered. There are many factors that must be considered prior to surgery such as the age of the patient, overall health condition and bone density. Attempts to try alternatives to surgery such as medication and physical therapy will be made before suggesting surgery. Hip replacement surgery is a major and costly procedure and careful thought must be made before a final decision is made.

4 Daily Activities to Reduce Risk of Hip Injury

The joint that connects our pelvis to our thigh is our hips and weak hips are often the cause of hip injuries. This is due to the extreme flexibility and range of motion our hips offer but there is a trade-off between flexibility and stability. Generally, our hips are stable but daily activities can cause injuries to them. Studies have proved that poor hip stabilisation causes injuries as the hip is heavily required to support the combined motion of our legs and knees. You can perform simple daily activities to reduce the risk of hip injuries. Let’s discuss a few of them in detail.

Hip Hiker

There are many hip exercises that can help you strengthen your hips. One of the easiest and most effective ones is the hip hiker. Place the instep of your right foot at the edge of a small stool, elevate your left foot. Avoid bending your knees and relax your right leg muscles and drop your left leg slowly onto the ground. Contract your right leg muscles immediately and raise your left leg again. Repeat this exercise for both legs for 3 sets of 15s.

Bridging

Bridging is another simple exercise that can be performed anywhere. Lie on your back on a flat surface and slowly lift up your buttocks, keeping your knee, shoulders and hips in a straight line. Contract your muscles as you perform this and hold in the raised position for 5 seconds. Slowly return to the starting position and repeat for 3 sets of 15s.

Hip extension

Lie down flat on your stomach and keep your legs straight in a position that is not touching the floor. Slowly contract your gluteals muscles and hold in the position for 5 seconds. Repeat for 3 sets of 15s.

Resistance band extension

This is a slightly more challenging version of the hip extension exercise above and it requires the usage of a resistance band. You will need a chair to hold onto and maintain your balance. Place the resistance band on an object that is heavy such as your bed. Slowly lift your leg towards the back of your thighs and contract your glut muscles. You will be able to feel intense tightening of your glut muscles.

Most exercises can be performed in the comfort of your own home without the need for expensive equipments. They say that a little goes a long way and you can be assured that these simple exercises which you perform can indeed help you strengthen your hips and reduce your risk of injuries.

Top 4 Occupations that Negatively Affects the Musculoskeletal System

Our musculoskeletal system consists of the bones, ligaments, tendons and many more that allows us to move around. Disorders to the musculoskeletal will affect our locomotion and will cause problems to our daily lives. Disorders are often due to cyclic stresses and strains caused by our daily activities. Some occupations have an increased risk for Musculoskeletal disorders and our shoulders, hands, neck and back are the ones that are usually affected.

Carpet layers

Carpet layers are workers who lay carpets for customers. They are required to be in a kneeling position for prolonged periods of times daily and they not only have to kneel on a hard surface, they also have to use a knee kicker to stretch the carpet to ensure proper alignment. Whenever we kneel down, our body weight is fully on our both knees and keeling for long periods of time on a hard surface will cause even more damage to the meniscus and kneecap. Over time, the meniscus will wear off and the kneecap will also get damaged.

Movers

Movers are often required to carry heavy loads on their back and this will cause serious musculoskeletal problems such as chronic back pain, sprains, strains and even slipped disks. Back strains are often caused by overloading and poor lifting techniques. If it continues, the muscle can get torn and that will cause inflammation, causing pain and possibly muscle spasms. An injured back muscle will need to work even harder to protect and support the spine, leaving the spine at an additional risk to getting injured.

Office workers

Office workers work in probably the most relaxed and ideal conditions but they are one of the ones with the highest risk to musculoskeletal disorders. Sitting in a poor posture for a day causes more damage to the body than manual work. Poor posture such as hunching can cause lower back pain and shoulder stiffness. Prolonged sitting in a fixed position can also cause an overload in the muscle structures.

Construction workers

Construction workers are often required to carry heavy static loads throughout the day. To distribute the weight better, they often carry the items over their head in a outstretched position. The muscles are thus unable to contract and this will injure the muscles and even hinder the proper blood circulation around the body. Prolonged period of poor blood flow can cause the arms to swell.

It is easy to prevent musculoskeletal disorders by making small changes to your daily lifestyle. The working environment needs to be changed and you also need to be aware of the hazards you are faced with and overcome them.