A hip fracture is a break in the femur (thigh bone) of the hip joint. Joints are areas where two or more bones meet. The hip joint is a "ball and socket" joint where the femur meets the pelvic bone. The ball part of the hip joint is the head of the femur, and the socket is a cup-like structure in the pelvic bone called the acetabulum. Hip fracture is a serious injury and requires immediate medical attention.
Signs and symptoms of a hip fracture include:
- Inability to move immediately after a fall
- Severe pain in your hip or groin
- Inability to put weight on your leg on the side of your injured hip
- Stiffness, bruising and swelling in and around your hip area
- Shorter leg on the side of your injured hip
- Turning outward of your leg on the side of your injured hip
Most people spend from one to two weeks in the hospital after a hip fracture. The recovery period may be lengthy, and may include admission to a rehabilitation facility. People who previously were able to live independently will generally need help from home caregivers, family, or may require the services of a long-term care facility. Hip fractures can result in a loss of independence, reduced quality of life, and depression, especially in older people.