Associated Injuries with a Hip Fracture
The hip is a ball and socket joint. In this joint, the head of the femur sits in a socket that is formed by the pelvis. This pelvic socket is called the acetabulum. A hip fracture can take place anywhere within this ball and socket joint. Some of the most common ways that someone might sustain a fracture of the hip is in an auto accident, a bicycle accident, or even a fall from a great height. These fractures commonly present with an inability to walk, severe bruising at the top of the thigh, and a possible limb-length discrepancy. When someone has been diagnosed with a hip fracture, several associated injuries might also be present.
Injuries to the Pelvis
Because the hip joint is formed by the head of the femur sitting in the acetabulum, there is the possibility of an injury to the pelvis. A pelvic fracture might be seen with a hip injury leading to potentially serious complications. The pelvis also protects essential organs. Some of these include:
- The uterus (in women), responsible for carrying a pregnancy
- The bladder
- Intestinal tracts such as the large intestine, colon, and rectum
Following a fracture of the hip, one of these bone fragments might break free from its anatomic location. Then, this fragment may perforate these organs, leading to severe complications, such as an infection. It will be essential to make sure that the pelvis and pelvic organs have not been harmed following a fracture of the hip. If these organs have been damaged, they can be treated with a combination of antibiotics and surgery.
The Sciatic Nerve is a Potential Associated Injury
Perhaps the most commonly injured nerve following a hip fracture is the sciatic nerve. This is one of the longest, thickest nerves of the body. Because the nerve runs near the hip, this nerve might be compressed or damaged following a severe hip injury. Some of the signs of a sciatic nerve injury include:
- Pain in the lower back
- Pain in the leg that gets worse with sitting
- A feeling of numbness or weakness that travels down the leg
- Trouble moving the leg or foot
- Difficulty standing on that leg
If the nerve has been compressed, this compression should be relieved as the hip fracture heals. As the nerve recovers, these symptoms should subside.
Hip Fracture Associated Injuries to Blood Vessels
Other possible associated injuries with a hip fracture include damage to nearby blood vessels. Several large blood vessels travel near the hip, including the inguinal artery and the femoral artery. In a severe fracture, one of the bone fragments might break loose and damage these blood vessels, which can cause internal bleeding. This is bleeding that may require a surgical procedure to repair.
Signs that internal bleeding is present include a rising heart rate, dropping blood pressure, an extreme feeling of thirst, and severe bruising near the hip and pelvis. A trained vascular surgeon will be able to open up the hip and pelvis, repairing any blood vessels that have been damaged. Over time, the hip, pelvis, and blood vessels will gradually heal.
Watch YouTube Video: Hip Fractures. In the following video, Dr. Drew Brady, a chief orthopedic trauma surgeon, discusses hip fractures and how they are diagnosed and treated.
Sacramento Hip Fracture Lawyer
I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento Hip Fracture Lawyer. There are several hip fracture associated injuries that must be considered. If you or someone you care for has been diagnosed with a severe hip fracture following a traumatic accident due to the negligence of another person or entity, please call me at (916) 921-6400 or (800) 404-5400. I would be happy to share some free, friendly advice.
My guests are always invited to see our prior verdicts or settlements.
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