Hip Fracture Follow-up

Updated: Jan 08, 2019
  • Author: Naveenpal S Bhatti, MD; Chief Editor: Sherwin SW Ho, MD  more...
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Follow-up

Return to Play

As may be expected, each athlete with a hip fracture is treated on an individual basis. To return to play, the athlete should be off all pain medications, be relatively pain free, and have no return of symptoms during sports-specific activities.

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Complications

Complications related to poorly treated or misdiagnosed stress fractures are considerable. AVN, nonunion, varus deformity, chronic pain, and completely displaced femoral neck fractures may occur and may lead to serious life-altering changes in function and the patient's ability to ambulate efficiently.

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Prognosis

The prognosis for hip fractures is dependent on the age and condition of the patient and on the location and type of fracture. Athletes who sustain femoral neck stress fractures may or may not be able to return to their sport. Tension stress fractures are generally unstable and have an unfavorable prognosis. On the other hand, compression fractures are usually successfully treated with conservative measures and have a good prognosis for recovery. Hip fractures in elderly individuals have a mortality rate of 14-36% one year following surgery.

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Patient Education

Patient education is a very important aspect to the rehabilitation process following hip fracture, regardless of the patient's age. Patients must be thoroughly informed about treatment options following their diagnosis, and they must understand the benefits and risks of treatment. If conservative treatment is an option, the patient may need instruction in the use of crutches initially to restrict weight bearing. A physical therapist should be involved in the patient's care for instructions in mobility training and reconditioning of the affected lower extremity. Patients are usually instructed in a home exercise program for continuing strengthening of the hip so that they are able to return to their previous level of activity.

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