North Hampshire Hospital
The Hampshire Clinic
Basingstoke, Hampshire, UK

Mr John Britton FRCS
Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon

Information for patients undergoing orthopaedic treatment


Hip fracture

Hip fractures are very common in the elderly and can be caused by minor falls. Young patients can also suffer hip fractures but only as a result of major injury such as a road accident or a fall when skiing.

Treatment of hip fractures is almost invariably surgical, the type of operation being dependent on the nature of the fracture.

An intracapsular fracture
An intertrochanteric fracture

Intracapsular fracture

If the break occurs within the hip joint itself there is considerable risk that the blood supply to the femoral head (the 'ball') will have been disturbed. In this event the fracture is most unlikely to heal and the joint will become arthritic. For this reason this type of fracture is most frequently treated by replacing the ball - a 'hemiarthoplasty' - or by performing a total hip replacement.

Intertrochanteric fracture

If however the break occurs outside the hip joint there is little risk of the blood supply having been damaged; the fracture can therefore be fixed with a 'pin and plate.'

For further details about surgery click here.


J M Britton 2007

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