Myths of hip fractures

First of all, I am done with my flare. Lasted solid three weeks and also meant three weeks of rest and no workouts. At the moment I am in the process of trying to work myself up again to what I could do “pre-flare”.

 

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In my last year, recovering from hip surgery No. 3, a complete hip fracture, I came across many comments and wanted to debunk some myths.

 

1.) “Hip fracture is not hip fracture.”

An incomplete fracture is a totally different story than a complete fracture or a stress fracture.

Also the location, angle and severity of the fracture takes a big role in how the surgery or recovery will be approached. Some fractures need surgery, some don’t. Some need pins, some rods while others just require rest and crutches.

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2.) “Once you are done with crutches, you just walk again.”

Nope. First of all, you will start “weaning off” crutches, which will take another few weeks and is a gradual process, you don’t just “drop” your crutches and go.

And second, nobody walks normal right away again. You are dealing with muscle atrophy, the bone is still weaker and your gait will be off.

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3.) “Physical therapy is overrated.”

Most certainly not. I can only speak of my own experience but I know 1000% I could not have done it and would not be where I am at right now, without physical therapy.

If you end up being on crutches for five months like I was, there is  TONS  to work on. Build up strength and endurance, isolating muscles to start firing again, range of motion needs to be worked on, gait, walking sideways/ backwards… an endless program.

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4.) “Once you are done with PT, you are done with rehab.”

I wish. After surgery to your hips, your hips will never be the same again and to keep your hips happy, you better get used to the idea that is a lifetime commitment from now on.

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5.) “You can speed things up by taking shortcuts.” 

This is a serious injury and requires medical expertise, good guiding at PT, following instructions from your OS and PT; dedication, time and effort.

You can not shorten up the time on crutches. Either your bone is not strong enough yet for bearing weight or your muscles mass is not there yet. Most likely both but if you still push for it, you  WILL  PAY  for it. With pain, a huge setback and you are at risk of refracturing the bone.

Also, the “no pain, no gain” attitude in the gym does not work. You can not bulldoze your way through this recovery, that’s just not the way this recovery works.

 

 

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6.) “It’s just a broken hip. Everything else still works.”

Initially yes, but once you are on crutches for a long period of time, it will create a domino effect on the entire body.

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7.) “Only old people break their hip.” Definitely less common in young adults but still possible, I can assure you.

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8.)  As read in Google “Recovery from a broken hip takes three months.”  Obviously a statement written by somebody who never had to go through it. A minimum of one year recovery for a complete fracture is more likely.

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9.) “It’s just a broken bone.”

Wrong on so many levels. It is first of all a major weight bearing bone and second, the surgery/ recovery comes with many risks and can take many bad turns, even death in the cases of older people.

It also is not just an injury that affects you physically but also mentally. It’s not easy to go from a busy and active lifestyle to basically being disabled for a while, being dependant on others and staying put. It gets to you and it is also pretty demanding on your partner.

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10.) “Hip pinning is an easier recovery than THR.”

Two complete different surgeries and therefore different approaches for recovery. THR means replacement, hip pinning means fixing the bone.

It just can not be compared. It’s apples and oranges.

 

 

That’s all.

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16 thoughts on “Myths of hip fractures

  1. Nine months in, and I’m still in a wheelchair if I want to do anything outside of the home. I’m still living in my bed so that I can stretch my leg out, and still suffer bouts of intense pain. Nobody knows when (or if) I’ll walk unaided again!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m due my next x-ray just after new year, but it certainly doesn’t feel as though any more union has been made since the last one. I can walk from the bedroom to the bathroom and back again with no problem (albeit with some stiffness) but getting downstairs and doing anything around the house is a completely different matter.

        My new consultant thinks that the screws might need removing, but at the rate I’m (not) healing that is very far into the future – if it happens at all. I wonder if it’s best for me to keep them in, since I’m epileptic and could break my hip again through a seizure at any time. Nobody’s sure, but there’s a suspicion that I may have broken my hip before (but only needed rest and no surgery) which might be the reason for the slowness of this particular recovery.

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      2. I was, but because of the pain I was in, it’s been halted until we know what’s happening. Delayed union is suspected, as my femur is perfectly situated for union.

        I still have good days and bad days after all this time, but the consultant I have now – after demanding a second opinion – is very attentive, and we ought to know more by next Thursday.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. My mother had surgery on her hip and is able to do a bit more now than she could before, but has really bad arthritis that acts up in cold weather. They told her she’s too young for a hip replacement though so she has to just wait it out.

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    1. Hello Ashley,
      how far PO is your Mom? Does she apply heat or ice to her hip if it hurts? I ice mine if it hurts but I know some people who prefer heat. Maybe this would help her in the winter.

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  3. A hard injury to recover from. Mentally and physically. You sum it up really well. I’m glad I work where I do otherwise I think it would have been really hard getting back to work.

    Liked by 1 person

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