Hip Fractures and Joint Pain
The hip is a ball and socket joint that allows the leg to flex and rotate at the pelvis. A hip fracture is actually a break in the top quarter of the thigh bone (femur). An injury to the hip socket itself is not considered a “hip fracture”. Hip fractures are usually a result of a direct blow to the side of the hip commonly associated with a fall. If the bone is weakened by osteoporosis, cancer or stress injuries, the bone will break more easily. Symptoms include pain in the upper thigh and groin and severe joint pain when the hip is rotated or flexed. Our physicians can determine there is a break by taking an x-ray of the area. Because these breaks are common in older adults who may not be healthy enough to undergo anesthesia, physicians may recommended bed rest instead of surgery. Otherwise, surgery will repair the damage. Often, screws and plates are necessary to hold the broken bones in place. In some cases, it may be necessary to replace the ball at the head of the femur or the entire ball and socket (acetabulum) may need to be replaced (total hip replacement).
The pelvis is made up of three bones that grow together as we age – the ilium, ischium, and pubis. Ligaments attach the pelvis to the bone at the base of the spine (sacrum). Many organs are located in the bowl formed by the pelvic bones as well as large blood vessels that carry blood to the legs. A pelvic fracture can be a serious injury. Most pelvis fractures are caused by sports, osteoporosis, car accidents, crush accidents or falls. Symptoms include severe pain in the pelvic area. To diagnose a pelvis fracture, physicians will use x-rays and CT scans. The doctor will also examine the blood vessels and nerves to the legs for possible problems. Pelvis injuries from sports are usually less severe and will heal without surgery. Fractures from high-energy trauma are often life threatening because of bleeding and require surgery. Some injuries may even require pins and plates, an external fixator (frame attached to the body with screws), or traction.
Common Hip Problems
When the head of the thigh bone slips out of its socket in the pelvis, it is considered a hip dislocation. Dislocated hips usually occur as the result of a fall from height or a vehicle accident. These injuries cause severe joint pain and are visually obvious as the leg takes on an unnatural twisted look. With most hip dislocations without a lot of other damage, the bones can be manipulated back into place. This can be done under anesthesia. But if there are broken bones, it may require surgery to put the bones back into place.
Hip strains occur when the large muscles that hold the hip joint in place are stretched or torn. There are several sets of muscles. Some connect the thigh to the knee. Others cover the abdomen or buttocks. Injuries can be from a fall or blow to the muscle, overuse, or overstretching. Symptoms include pain in the muscle especially when being used, possible swelling, and possible loss of muscle strength. The doctor may use an x-ray to make sure there are no fractures to the hip and, if not, rest, ice, compression, and exercise are usually all that is needed to heal.
Hip & Pelvis Diseases and Syndromes
Because there are so many nerves, blood vessels and organs located in the hip and pelvis area, there are many problems besides strains, dislocations, and fractures that can occur. Here are a few of the other hip and pelvis problems we can diagnose and treat:
- Hip Dysplasia
- Athritis of the Hip
- Bursitis of the Hip
- Femoral Epiphysis
- Femoralacetabular Impingement
- Osteonecrosis of the Hip
- Osteoporosis of the Hip
- Perthes Disease
- Snapping Hip
The orthopaedic specialists at DFP Orthopaedic Surgery are experts at diagnosing and treating pelvis and hip joint pain. Our doctors use state-of-the-art medical equipment including x-rays, CT scans, MRI scans, and arthoscopes (a small camera inserted into the joint to aid in performing intricate surgeries) to give our patients the best treatment and quickest recovery time. All DFP physicians and surgeons are Board Certified and our staff includes some of the finest subspecialty orthopaedists in America. From hip resurfacing to joint reconstruction and joint replacement, Drisko, Fee & Parkins Orthopaedic Surgery will have you moving again in no time.