Hip fractures are a serious problem for elderly patients with osteoporosis. A hip fracture is usually a break near the top of the thighbone (femur) where it angles into the hip socket and usually makes it too painful to stand. In most cases, hospitalization and surgery are required to either replace the broken portion or repair it with a metal plate and screws. A hip replacement may be required depending on where the break occurs.
After surgery, treatment focuses on getting the patient back on their feet again as soon as possible, while the broken bone heals. A physical therapy program is an important factor for a good recovery.
Illustration reproduced with permission from Fischer S, (interim ed):
Your Orthopaedic Connection. Rosemont, IL, American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. Available at http://orthoinfo.aaos.org.org/