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A fractured neck of femur is when the thigh bone (femur) fractures near to where it attaches to the hip joint and is the most serious consequence of falls among older people, due to loss of mobility and independence.

What causes a fractured neck of femur?

The most common cause of a fractured neck of femur is falls and usually affects older people. Older people are more likely to suffer from this type of injury due to osteoporosis and osteomalacia (softening of the bones). In younger people the main cause of a fractured neck of femur is a high energy injury such as a car accident.

What are the symptoms/effects of a fractured neck of femur?

Symptoms of a fractured neck of femur may include:
  • Pain
  • Tenderness when touching the front and outside of the hip
  • Pain when moving the hip
  • Difficulty weight bearing on the affected leg
  • The affected leg may be shorter compared to the unaffected leg

Diagnosis of a fractured neck of femur

If you suspect you have broken your leg you must seek medical attention as soon as possible. A doctor will conduct a thorough physical examination of your hip and leg as well as take an X-ray to confirm a diagnosis.

Treatment for fractured neck of femur

The type of treatment provided will depend on the extent of your injury.

Treatment for nondisplaced fractures, that is if the femur has not moved out of place, is usually bed rest and/or use of crutches until passive hip movement is pain free and x-ray films show evidence of bone formation.

If the fracture is displaced (out of place) surgery will be required which involves fixing the bone back in place using pins or screws. Other forms of surgery include a hemiarthroplasty or half a hip replacement when the head of the thigh bone is removed, and a metal prosthesis is implanted into the joint.

Physiotherapy for fractured neck of femur

Following your operation you will be seen by a physiotherapist who will help you move your hip and leg and get you out of bed. You may also be provided with a walking aid to ensure you are safe on your feet while you are recovering. Before you are discharged from hospital you will be assessed on the stairs and provided with some exercises to continue with at home.

At Manchester Physio we provide specialised physiotherapy treatment for people following a fractured neck of femur. It is important to continue physiotherapy treatment following your operation for the best possible recovery.

Physiotherapy treatment at Manchester Physio will improve your mobility and increase your independence with everyday activities.

Physiotherapy treatment will be individualised and tailored upon your current symptoms and level of function and may include:
  • Mobilisation � practising to gradually weight bear on your affected leg as pain allows, to encourage bone healing
  • Gait training � helping you to walk better and with more independence
  • Practising transfers � get up from sitting, getting on/off the bed, chair, commode
  • Practising stairs
  • Heat therapy to relax tight and painful muscles
  • Muscle strengthening and stretching program for your leg and hip muscles.
  • Exercises to improve physical fitness
  • Advise on how to modify activity and when to progress exercises safely.
Your physiotherapist at Manchester Physio will develop a full treatment plan to suit your individual needs. Physiotherapy treatment at Manchester Physio will reduce your pain and stiffness and improve muscle strength and flexibility so you can mobilise safely and effectively and return to your everyday activities with confidence and success.

If you would like more information on physiotherapy for a fractured neck of femur, or to book an appointment please call 0161 883 0077.

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