Hip fractures are extremely common in the elderly population, and they usually occur as a result of a fall. A hip fracture can be devastating to a person’s lifestyle, as these fractures have very high rates of complications if not treated with surgery. Hip fracture prevention is thus critically important for older patients.
Several common patterns of hip fracture exist, and the geometry of the fracture determines the type of treatment. Fractures involving the femoral neck (the “ball” of the thigh bone) often require either a partial or total hip replacement. A partial hip replacement, or hemiarthroplasty, is the most common method of treating a femoral neck fracture. If the bones are not significantly separated or displaced, a femoral neck fracture may be treated with screws, or percutaneous pinning. Fractures may also involve the intertrochanteric region, or the upper part of the thigh bone below the ball area. Fractures in this part of the bone are often treated with intramedullary nailing, or placement of a rod and screw into the bone.
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