This is a break of the upper part of your femur. The femur is the long bone in your upper leg. At the top of the femur is the “head.” This is the ball that fits into your hip socket. A hip fracture may happen at the “neck” of the femur (the thin portion of bone under the head). Fractures may also happen below the neck.

Hip fractures can be caused by traumatic injury. Auto accidents and falls are common culprits. Hip fractures are also a problem for elderly people. This is because bones can thin and weaken with age. In some elderly people, the skeleton can become so fragile that a hip can break during normal activity.

A broken hip causes severe pain. It prevents you from being able to put weight on your leg. Your leg may turn outward away from your body. It may appear shorter than your other leg. Your hip may bruise, swell and stiffen.

A fractured hip is almost always treated surgically. You may benefit from screws and plates that realign and anchor the broken pieces of your femur. You may benefit from a hip replacement. And after your hip is repaired, you will need physical therapy. Your healthcare provider can create a care plan that is right for your needs.