Surgery and Recovery of a Fractured Hip or Pelvis
The hip is one of the most complex, painful, and expensive types of fractures that a personal injury victim can receive. Common in car collisions, trip and falls, dog attacks, bike and pedestrian injuries, and work accidents, a fractured hip will leave the victim unable to walk, run, or get around on their own for quite some time. For elderly victims, a hip fracture can be the beginning of the end; sadly, seniors who fracture their hips have a very high rate of death. If you were injured by a negligent party and suffered a fractured hip as a result, you need to secure the maximum possible compensation for your injuries.
Three Levels of Hip Surgery
A fractured hip is diagnosed using various scans (X-ray, MRI, and CT), and fractures can occur in the following locations on the femur:
- Femoral neck—just below the ball end of the bone, which is called the femoral head; and
- Intertrochanteric region—farther down from the hip joint.
Three different types of surgery may be necessary to fix a fractured hip. These include the following, according to The Mayo Clinic:
- Pinning / internal screws—Screws, potentially in addition to plates, are inserted to hold the fractured bone together while it heals.
- Partial hip replacement—The head and neck of the femur is removed and replaced with a metal hip replacement. Partial replacement is often used with older adults who do not live independently, or who have compromised recovery.
- Total hip replacement—The femur and socket of the pelvis bone are replaced with prostheses.
Pelvis fractures are much more uncommon than fractured hips; however, a fractured pelvis, like a fractured hip, is incredibly painful, debilitating, and expensive. Fractured pelvises occur in traffic collisions and slip and falls, and have three options for treatment when surgery is needed, according to Orthoinfo:
- External Fixation—An external fixator (metal device on the outside of the body) is used to stabilize the healing bones. The external fixator is attached to the pelvic bones and sticks out of the skin.
- Skeletal Traction—Pulley system with weights and counterweights realigns the bone pieces, which are also held together by internal pins.
- Open Reduction and Internal Fixation—Bones are realigned and held together with internal plates and screws.
Recovery Time Can be Over a Year
It takes eight to 12 weeks, and longer for elderly adults, for the bones to set after surgery. However, the recovery process does not end there. Patients are then put on a regimen of physical therapy, which generally lasts many months. Depending on the type of surgery and the age and health of the patient, full recovery takes 6-12 months. Moreover, the hip may never be as strong or flexible as it once was.
Contact The Villages Personal Injury Attorneys at Glover Law Firm Today
Healing from a fractured hip takes months, and in most cases years if a full recovery is even achievable. Your lost wages, pain and suffering, and medical expenses must be paid for by the at-fault party, and an attorney can help make that possible. Call the Glover Law Firm at 352-484-0775 to schedule a free consultation with a The Villages personal injury attorney today.