Femur Fracture Fixation with Dynamic Hip Screw

As with any joint in the body, fractures may occur in different areas of the bone. When a fracture occurs in the femur or thighbone at the hip joint, fracture fixation with a dynamic hip screw may be a good option. Of course, the best option for treating a femur fracture depends on a complete evaluation and diagnosis by an experienced surgeon like Dr. Manning.

During the initial evaluation, Dr. Manning will review any imaging, including x-rays and possibly MRIs, to understand the nature of the fracture and whether any soft tissue has been compromised along with it. At this point, the decision as to which procedure is best can be made.

During a femur fracture fixation, patients will be under general anesthesia and a single incision will be made above the femur. Soft tissue structures will be moved aside to expose the fractured area of the femur so that it can be properly evaluated. The fracture will be set so that the two ends of bone are back in their normal position. At this point, a hole is drilled through the side if the femur and into the head. Next, a permanent, locking surgical screw (lag screw) is inserted to reattach the two parts of the femur, stabilizing the fracture and bringing the bone together. The screw is supported by a metal plate attached to the side of the femur and further stabilized with additional screws.

Advantages of femur fracture fixation with a dynamic screw is that the head of the femur is retained. Of course, this is only possible if the head of the femur remains healthy and fully intact. By keeping the natural structure of the femur, the hip joint is not compromised, and patients are often able to return to normal activity upon full recovery.

After surgery, patients will require a hospital stay of a few days to evaluate the progress of the early recovery. Physical therapy will be initiated within a few days after surgery in order to speed healing and improve the musculature around the hip. For anywhere between three and six weeks, patients will not be able to put body weight on the affected leg. Crutches will be necessary during this time. The amount of time before patients can put full weight on their leg will vary, depending on the severity of the fracture and progression of their recovery.

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