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Hip Fracture Doctor in Westchester County

What is a hip fracture?

A broken hip, also known as a fractured hip, is a serious injury that must be treated by a qualified physician specializing in hip conditions. While a hip fracture could affect any person at any time, most hip fractures occur later in life. This is because your bones tend to become weaker as you get older, often leading to a medical condition called osteoporosis. When this happens, even a minor impact could result in a bone fracture. Hip fractures are most commonly the result of an older adult falling down, usually as the result of balance loss or impaired vision. The caring orthopedic team at Specialty Orthopaedics has years of experience dealing with hip fractures. We offer custom treatment options to get you back on your feet and moving pain-free.

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What causes a hip fracture?

The most common cause of a hip fracture is falling down, especially for those with weak bones. However, other possible causes and risk factors that may lead to a broken hip include:

  • Motor vehicle accidents
  • High-impact sports
  • Sudden twisting movement
  • Prior hip injury
  • Prior hip surgery complication

What are the symptoms of a hip fracture?

If you experience any of the following broken hip symptoms, visit one of our skilled providers who can assess your injury:

  • Severe hip pain
  • Hip stiffness, swelling, or bruising
  • Inability to get up after falling
  • One shorter leg
  • Leg turning inward
  • Inability to bear weight on the hip
  • Difficulty standing or walking

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How is a hip fracture diagnosed?

The hip specialists at Specialty Orthopaedics can help you determine what is causing your hip pain during a simple in-office visit. During this visit, you’ll be asked about your hip pain level, the location of your hip pain, and when the pain first began. Additionally, we will talk to you about past hip injuries and other relevant medical problems. Then, we’ll conduct a physical exam of your hip, looking for signs of fracture. In many cases, we’ll also need to conduct imaging tests to determine the severity of your fracture. These tests might include:

  • X-rays
  • CT scans
  • MRI scans

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How is a hip fracture treated?

Your hip is a large joint that you rely on to help you walk, balance, and stand. Because your hip is so vital to your everyday functions, surgery may be needed to restore your full hip function. At Specialty Orthopaedics, we offer a number of innovative treatment options for a broken hip, such as:

What is partial hip replacement surgery?

Some patients incorrectly assume that partial hip replacement is less invasive than total hip replacement, but it’s not. These are still completely invasive procedures. Partial hip replacement is often used when the patient has a hip fracture but still has a healthy hip socket.

In a partial hip replacement, Dr. McWilliam will replace only the patient’s femoral head, the top of the femur that sits in the hip socket. The new prosthetic femoral head is made of either ceramic or metal. The prosthetic ball is attached to a metal stem, the hip implant. The stem is set down into the core of the femur and firmly affixed either with bone cement or it is uncemented and the porous coating on the metal stem encourages the natural bone to grow into it, making it a part of the femur.

What is total hip replacement surgery?

Total hip replacement involves the replacement of the femoral head and the hip socket. The femoral head is the same as with partial replacements, made from either ceramic or metal. The hip socket is a plastic liner that is implanted into the natural socket. After a full hip replacement, the prosthetic femoral head moves within a prosthetic socket.

What is revision hip surgery?

Revision hip surgery is performed to repair an artificial hip joint that has been damaged over time due to an infection, or due to normal wear and tear. Revision surgery helps to correct the problem so the hip can function normally again.

Artificial hip joints have a lifespan. These are increasing with improving technology, but artificial hip joints typically last around 20 years. This longevity can vary depending on what kinds of impact activities the person partakes in. After a period of normal wear and tear of the hip joint, the prosthesis doesn’t fit as securely and is not as effective. Revision surgery would be used in these cases to regain a secure fit.

Revision surgery could also be used if an infection has developed in the tissue surrounding the joint. If infected, the muscle, tendon, and ligament tissues in the hip joint will become weakened and damaged. Even the hip bone can become damaged.

How do I know which procedure I’ll need for my hip?

During your consultation, Dr. McWilliam will discuss the surgical option he feels best suits your unique situation. The problem with partial hip replacement, especially for active patients, is that the new prosthetic femoral head rotates inside the natural boney socket. Our natural socket is covered by hyaline cartilage, which acts as a lubricant, a shock absorber, and helps distribute stress more uniformly within the bone. When a new artificial ball is placed in the socket it is rotating against natural cartilage. In most cases, hyaline cartilage doesn’t remain healthy when it moves against an artificial surface instead of the natural hyaline cartilage that would otherwise be atop the femur. This can lead to the breakdown of the cartilage, which will lead to pain.

In a total hip replacement, you are working with a prosthetic head rotating in a prosthetic socket. There are exceptions, but research has shown that the best results for hip replacements for both longevity and pain relief come from total hip replacement rather than partial hip replacement.

Patients would only be considered for partial hip replacement if they have little or no underlying arthritis in the joint, and if they have healthy cartilage throughout the socket. This often is the case when a person fractures their femoral neck but didn’t have prior hip arthritis or pain. One of the main advantages of performing a partial hip replacement over a total replacement is that partial hips are inherently more stable. This is because the balls used are larger, making them less prone to dislocation. However, the results gained with partial replacements, because you’re dealing with a mix of artificial and natural components and tissues, are not as consistently perfect.

Revision hip surgery would be necessary if you’ve had a replacement procedure and there are now problems. For instance, a prior partial hip replacement may now need to progress to a full replacement because the prosthetic ball has degraded the natural cartilage to the point that there is looseness, or the patient is experiencing pain. As mentioned above, revision surgery could also be needed if an infection is present.

How long is recovery from hip replacement?

At Specialty Orthopaedics, our team will walk you through what to expect day to day in your recovery from hip replacement or hip revision surgery. Throughout your recovery, we will also monitor how your replacement is healing with the use of x-rays.

Every patient is different, with different healing rates and such. But as a general estimate, most patients can resume recreational activities, such as taking long walks, cycling, or playing golf within 12 weeks after their replacement surgery. However, some patients may take up to double that time. Your recovery will involve physical therapy and your dedication to following the exercise routines set out by your therapist will directly impact the speed and success of your recovery.

How much does hip replacement cost?

As you would assume, costs differ depending upon your unique situation. Partial hip replacement may cost less than full replacement. The same can be true with revision surgery. But this isn’t always the case. Once we see you for a consultation, we can give you an idea of what the costs will be. We will also be able to estimate your out-of-pocket costs, depending on your insurance provider.

Schedule Your Hip Consultation Today!

If you are experiencing symptoms of a hip fracture, visit Specialty Orthopaedics. Our New York orthopedic practice is home to a team of fellowship-trained orthopedists in a variety of specialty areas. We offer comprehensive treatment for musculoskeletal disorders in a caring and responsive clinical atmosphere. Give us a call at 914.686.0111 or fill out the form on this page to schedule your appointment today.

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