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Broken hip

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Hello,

I had a ski accident and broke my hip. It is a “complete femoral neck fracture” and required emergency surgery. I now have three screws holding my femoral neck and femoral head together.

There is not too much information out there from real people, with real experiences since it is a very rare fracture for a young adult (44) to have.

Has anybody ever have this and can tell me a bit of their recovery? Any insight would be really appreciated.

Thanks.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Hi @undine I did exactly the same thing end of November last year but through a skateboarding accident not skiing - took a very bad slam on concrete with pretty much all the impact going through my right hip. I had surgery that day and like you now have 3 pins. I'm 50 and reasonably healthy/ sporty and now just over 2 months into my recovery and pleased to say it's going well. As you say, it's a rare injury for a young adult, at Worthing Hospital where I was the nurse said they had only had 3 young adults with this injury in the past year - where as sadly and unfortunately for the elderly it is a very common and often debilitating injury.

You can see from the x-ray below that my break was more vertical than horizontal and because of this the surgeon was very cautious and told me I needed 10 weeks on crutches with no load bearing after the operation. Basically the more vertical the fracture the more potential for shear forces there are and so you have to be careful not to load the fracture too soon. Horizontal fractures press down directly onto each other and so can take loading sooner.





In reality I started to load bear very lightly after about 6 or 7 weeks because if felt ready, but I have to stress I took it very, very carefully, knowing that I didn't want to mess things up.

For the first two weeks after the op I was very tired a lot of the time and pretty much rested in bed for most of it. I was advised by a nutritionist to use protein supplements to aid in the healing. I made up my own milk based protein shakes with whey and vegetable protein powders and that worked well for me, however I know diary isn't to everyone's liking so it would be a matter of seeing what suits you.

For these two weeks I pretty much only shuffled backwards and forwards to the toilet, but after that I started to move about a bit more, though being very cautious not to bear weight on the hip. I also started doing bits of physio exercises they had given me, but only very lightly.

My six week check up showed the bone was healing nicely and that gave me bit more confidence to start to get out and about more and push on with the physio. Physio is definitely an essential part of the healing. Throughout the rehab my hip joint and bone have caused me very little discomfort but by comparison the muscle and tendon damage incurred through the injury and surgery has been very painful.

I'm about 12 weeks in now and walking with just one crutch and load bearing quite a bit, I can hobble short distances without any crutches but the muscles around the joint are still weak and so I do it in short bursts. I'm off work on sick leave till beginning of March and so concentrate on doing plenty of physio each day.

When the accident happened anyone I knew who had had surgery/ hip replacements said 'be patient and keep up with the physio' and I have to say that really is the best advice.

The prognosis is good and I'm hopeful for a complete recovery, however the surgeon has told me there is one caveat that will require intermittent check ups for the next 12 months. The head of the femur is apparently fed by a single blood vessel running through the centre of the neck. If that blood supply has been interrupted or damaged through the injury there is potential for the femur head to shrink in future and an early hip replacement may be required. They can't actually tell if that has been the case so regular check ups for 12 months are required to keep an eye on it. In my case although I had a complete break the head was not displaced from the neck and so they're optimistic all will be well, but only time will tell.

Hope all this information helps and feel free to ask any questions or private message if you want to. One of the guys I skate with is an orthopaedic surgeon and another works for a company that makes pins and hip replacements for the NHS (indeed he was in theatre when I was being treated!) so I'm doing my best to stay as informed as I can.

Oh, and as foot note, the biggest problem I have now is with my right shoulder. Using the damn crutches seems to have aggravated an underlying problem I have there and that's what keeps me awake at night, not the hip! I'm having to get physio for that now Happy.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
You have no idea how helpful your answer was! Thank you so much for taking the time to answer it in such great detail.
My fracture was subcapital, right underneath the femoral head and my OS was concerned about the location. The closer to the head, the higher the chance of getting AVN.

I have been on crutches/ toe touching for six weeks now and tomorrow I will have my 6 weeks follow up appointment. I was told not to start PT till the bone has not completely healed since it a major weight bearing bone.
So far I am doing my non weight bearing exercises in bed, 2x a day, 2 sets of 10.

I have had two hip surgeries before, it took me three years to recover from them and to feel like myself again. I made a comeback because I was patient, followed instructions and did my PT.

Pain is low now but was brutal the first two weeks.

I am curious to what I will get to hear tomorrow at the appointment.

I am sorry to hear about your shoulder. Yes, shoulders, hands and elbows take quite a beating too from the crutches. I got “mobil legs” now, they really help.
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Sounds like you're getting all the right advice, hope the appointment tomorrow goes well. Keep me posted.

Out of interest what were the other hip surgeries for?
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Thanks. Fingers crossed.

I had FAI and labral tears in both hips. I had arthroscopic hip surgery on both hips done, seven months apart. Took a long time to recover but it was worth it.
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That's the first time I've heard of that condition, just looked it up, interesting. It's amazing how clever treatments are becoming.

After the fracture have you had tests for bone density/ porosity? They didn't with me, but apparently you can ask for it.

Off back to bed now, having done my late night shoulder exercises Happy It's coming along gradually, I have to do lots of movement, strengthening and stretching.
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Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
The injury to the labrum is extremly painful and crippling. It makes your life miserable. Not fun at all. Recovery takes its sweet time and is tidious.

I did have a bone density scan a few years ago and it was ok. I have a very clean diet, and get my daily calcium and vitamins in.
Also, my OS said after surgery, my bone was nice and strong when she drilled the screws in.

I will have another test done, but since I am still toe touching I am not getting far and plus it’s my R hip and I am not allowed to drive yet.

Good luck with your shoulder.
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After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Sounds like you are getting very good care and being well informed by your specialist, provided there are no AVN complications I would of thought a full recovery is achievable. I hope so.
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Update

After 6 weeks toe touching my fracture has not healed all the way yet and the fracture line is still visible. No complications, which is huge!

25% weight bearing for 2 weeks, 50% weight bearing for 2 weeks, then weight bearing as tolerated for 2 weeks. New follow up at 12 weeks PO.

I am allowed to start PT now.

I am totally ok with all of it. Slow healing is better than no healing. 💪🏻
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Good for you. Looks like it'a all going in the right direction and wish you well with the recovery.

I'm probably about 6 weeks ahead of you, full weight bearing but not totally steady and with a definite 'Charlie Chaplin' style limp. It's get's less and less each day mind.

All the best.
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A little update on how things are going.

I was for 14 weeks on crutches full time and am now 4.5 months PO.
Inside my home I am off crutches, outdoors still on two. I am allowed to go inside the post office quickly without them but anything that requires more standing or walking than 15 minutes - two crutches.

At 4.5 months PO I can crutch- walk half a mile or walk about 50 yards without them.

I am doing LOTS of PT and progress is slow but steady. Painlevel is good, sometimes aching but in general good.

I have no complications but my bone is healing very slowly. At the 12 week check up the fracture line was still visible and not healed yet. It is healing, but slowly.

Fingers crossed for a continous good recovery.
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