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Broken Hip Recovery Time

Feb 26, 2016

A broken hip is one of the most common orthopedic injuries sustained by people over the age of 65. You may get it due to a fall, but it can be quite serious. You may even have to deal with several complications associated with a broken hip, and some of them are even life threatening. You should seek immediate medical attention if you suspect a broken hip. Your doctor will make a diagnosis and perform a surgery to treat fractured hip. Even after a successful surgery, broken hip recovery time may be different for different people. It depends on a number of factors.

Surgery is not the only way to treat hip fractures, and actually, most hip fractures can heal by themselves. But the problem is that the process will take 2-3 months and the patients can only stay in bed. Some doctors believe that it would be dangerous for some elder patients to get some complications during such a long period of time in bed. So in most cases, surgery is strongly recommended to the patients with hip fractures.

Accepted Surgery After Your Hip Broken

The type of surgery your doctor recommends for you generally depends on the severity and location of the fracture. They will also consider if you have a displaced fracture in which broken bones are not aligned properly. Your age and underlying health condition will also determine the type of surgery best suited for you. The most common options include the following:

  • Internal repair: The procedure involves using metal screws to keep the bone in place while the fracture heals itself. It is common to have screws attached to a metal plate that runs down the femur.
  • Partial hip replacement: It is important to remove the neck and head of the femur and install a metal replacement if the ends of the broken bone are damaged or displaced.
  • Total hip replacement: Your doctor may recommend this surgery if you already have arthritis or have damaged the same joint in the past. The procedure involves replacing the socket in your pelvic bone as well as the upper femur with prostheses.

Your doctor will consider the blood supply to the ball part of your hip joint when determining the best hip replacement surgery for you. Your broken hip recovery time will depend heavily on your surgery type.

How Long Does It Take to Recover from Broken Hip?   

Recovery time for a total hip replacement can differ vastly from patient to patient. Some patients may take 6 months to recover, while others may recovery in just 4 weeks.

You are more likely to stay in the hospital for 5-7 days after your surgery, after which you will have to move to an extended-care facility for rehabilitation. There, you will learn how to perform daily activities such as bathing on a bath stool, etc. After you go home, you will have to use a walking aid – a cane, a walker, or crutches – for a few months. For some elder people, a full recovery time may extend over a year or so.

Post-Surgery Care Tips for Better Recovery

In order to accelerate healing, you need to start moving after your surgery. Not doing this will hamper recovery and even lead to several complications. Here is what you should bear in mind to shorten your broken hip recovery time:

  • You should consider moving out of your bed and sit in a chair for a short time on the very first day after your surgery.
  • You should start doing light exercises on the second day of your surgery.
  • You should continue to work with your physical therapist for the next few days and continue to get in and out of chairs and bed, and even walk a little.

How to Shorten Your Broken Hip Recovery Time

So many factors go into determining how long it takes you to recover after hip surgery. Older adults usually need extensive care, including physical therapy as well as help with taking medicine, cooking, and personal care. Your doctor may prescribe blood-thinning medicines as well to reduce the risk of associated stroke,thrombophlebitis, or pulmonary embolism.

Be sure to participate in a rehabilitation program after your surgery. Research shows that people who spend at least 6 months in rehabilitation that includes strength training reduce their chances of dealing with disability. Here are some other steps to take to shorten your broken hip recovery time:

  • Regular exercise makes a big difference when it comes to shortening your recovery time. It helps your joint recover faster. You should start with isolated resistance training or follow home-based exercise programs. Supervised, long-term exercise training usually proves more beneficial and offers benefits like better joint function, increased muscle strength, and improved mobility.

  • Take multi-nutrient supplements to get long-term health benefits. These supplements prevent nutritional deficiencies and accelerate healing. Take vitamin D supplements to improve your immune function and promote bone cell formation. Similarly, supplements that contain calcium may also help strengthen new bone tissue.

  • Get nutritional counseling to understand how to improve overall health by strengthening key systems in your body, such as the cardiovascular system and the digestive system.
  • Increase your protein intake to make it easier for your body to accelerate healing.

  • Make sure to participate in social interactions and join support groups to help understand how to deal with negative feelings associated with a hip fracture.

Can You Prevent Broken Hip Injuries?

You already know that it can take a lot of time to recover from a broken hip fracture. While you can take steps to shorten broken hip recovery time,the things can still be quite challenging. The better idea is to take steps to prevent falls and accidents that cause broken hip injuries. For instance:

  • Increase your vitamin D and calcium intake. You should consume at least 1200mg of calcium and 600 international units of vitamin D every day if you are above 50.
  • Do exercise to strengthen your bones and improve your balance. Start with weight-bearing exercises, like walking to help maintain your peak bone density.
  • Do not smoke and do limit your alcohol intake. Both alcohol and tobacco can reduce your bone density and make it more likely to become fractured even after a minor accident.
  • Check your home for hazards. Make sure all electrical cords are against the wall, you do not have throw rugs in your way, and there isn't any excess furniture around. Pay attention to lighting as well.
  • Go for an eye checkup, especially if you have diabetes or any other eye disease.
  • Take some rest after taking certain medications that you know can make you feel weak and dizzy.
  • Always stand up slowly after sitting or lying for extended hours.