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Recovery expectations for broken hip


I'm curious if anyone can give me a run down on what I should expect from my recovery from past experience!

A little background. I fell on ice January 2009 (I was 25 at the time) which resulted in a broken hip (femoral neck) to which I had surgery same day (dynamic hip screws and supporting plate). Upon my first follow up 3 weeks post op, it was discovered I had another fracture which was missed in the femur. I was readmitted and the dynamic hardware was removed and replaced with a blade plate, bolt and 4 screws.

I was non weight bearing until April 2009, at which time things went as smooth as possible, but at this time I was educated on the possibility of blood flow not returning to the bulb. I also had popping, hitching/grinding and the hardware was painful to put pressure on ie bumping into it, sleeping on it, etc. It was decided it would be removed at a later date by my surgeon. During that time period I attended physio until I plateaued as well as massage therapy for increasing likelihood of proper flow. After the plateau in October, I continued with a gym routine until removal surgery.

April 2010 (26) I had the hardware removed. Although I feel MUCH better with it removed, I was expecting to feel more "normal". I still have popping and grinding, and although the hardware is no longer present, I find it very difficult and sometimes painful to roll on to/lay on that side. I have a lot of additional muscle loss on the site, to which I never regained fully since injury no matter what I tried! I was also told upon my first post op follow up this round that blood flow is still monitored, and to avoid any "contact" for at least 6 months.

I am most concerned with the blood flow. I was under the impression that risk was behind me. How long will this last until I know I'm out of the woods? And what "complications/pain" have you had to contend with since recovering? I am trying to do everything by the book. I am presently seeing a physio therapist twice a week, and a massage therapist once a week (1 hour).

Mainly, I'd like to know first hand from those who have been down this road what I can expect in the time to come. Does it ever return to "normal". What should I do/not do. What complications are yet to hurtle?

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replied June 27th, 2010
Community Volunteer
Hi nranda117...In my opinion, it never returns to normal...You can do many things, but some positions and endurance are not there...Each person deals with a different recovery period as well as acceptance of this surgery....Take care...

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replied May 17th, 2013
Hi, can anyone tell me if my pain is normal?
I am in my 50's and very active. I fell badly December 2012 and was taken to hospital via ambulance with facial cuts and bruises. They didn't look at my hip. 2 weeks later, screaming in pain and unable to weight bear to (even to use the toilet), I was admitted to hospital with a diagnosis of inflammation in the pelvis. They gave me a cortisone injection into my hip!! Several days later, a fracture was discovered in the neck of my femur and I went to theatre. I had a dynamic hip screw inserted and spent 3 more weeks in hospital. It's now 4 months post surgery and I have pain ALL THE TIME. It feels like I am being pinched when I sit and when I am walking, it feels like I have a bruise being punched.
I have also been diagnosed with Osteoporosis.
I have physio, do my exercises, follow recommendations but I can't stand on that leg. I can only walk holding on or using crutches after I take prescribed pain meds. I am having help at home but funding people said "I should be walking and doing shopping errands (like going to the pharmacy or post office)" by myself. Should I still have this much pain? Should I be walking independently by now?
I am also unsteady on my feet of late and tend to topple back on my heels.
Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
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replied May 18th, 2013
Especially eHealthy

Sorry about your problems.

No, you should not be having this amount of discomfort.

You sustained your injury basically six months ago, and has surgery almost that long ago also. From just normal injury and surgical healing, you should basically be healed long ago. So, something is not correct.

Also, the DHS (dynamic hip screw, also called a sliding hip screw) system is designed to allow for almost immediate weight bearing. The way the system is set up, it is designed to allow the fracture to compress, thus making for a very stable construct.

Again, four to six months should be more than enought time. It usually only takes about 6-8 weeks for a femoral neck fracture is heal, with or without osteoporosis. Osteoporotic bone is normal in terms of mineral content. It is just decreased in bone mass (density). So, it should heal just like nonosteoporotic bone.

You need a full orthopedic evaluation, as well as a pain management evaluation. Continued pain, after orthopedic surgery, is always concerning for an infection. Again, you need a very thorough evaluation, to include a full examination, x-rays, labs, bone scan, and possibly an MRI and/or CT scan.

Your pain is not normal and needs to be evaluated.

Wishing you the best.

Good luck.
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