Hip Fracture Attorneys in Illinois
Commonly referred to as a “broken hip,” is a break in the thigh bone, known as the femur. Where in the femur the break occurs depends on the type of trauma that caused the break. Typically, those who suffer from hip fractures are 65 or older and there is a high mortality rate as a result. However, hip fractures can occur in younger people but they usually due to a more severe trauma such as a high force collision.
What is a Hip Fracture, technically?
The head of the femur looks like a ball and it fits into a socket in the pelvic bone. This is called a ball and socket joint. While the majority of hip fractures occur at or near the head of the femur, they can also occur just below the femur’s head (called a femoral neck hip fracture) or just below the neck (called an intertrochanteric hip fracture).
What are the Symptoms of Hip Fractures?
The most common and obvious symptoms of broken hip are pain in the hip area and leg, caused by the fractured bone moving around and causing tissue damage. Another symptom is weakness in the area. Some sufferers may experience one or the other or both of these symptoms.
Other symptoms may also depend on the type of fracture. If the fracture is a displaced fracture, that means the bone separates at the point of fracture and the sufferer cannot walk or stand. The affected leg will likely appear shorter and the foot will often be turned outward when the person is lying down.
If it is an intertrochanteric hip fracture, the fractured portion of the bone can damage blood vessels, producing bleeding inside the hip and loss of blood pressure. Ultimately, the sufferer will feel dizzy and weak and may develop a large bruise in the area.
If it is a femoral neck fracture, the blood supply to the head (ball) of the femur can be affected, causing arthritis. Ultimately, the sufferer will feel pain and discomfort during activity.
How is a Hip Fracture Diagnosed and Treated?
To diagnose a hip fracture, your physician will take a medical history and then likely take multiple x-rays. If the fracture cannot be detected from an x-ray because it is too small or difficult to locate, your doctor may order a CT scan (Computed Tomography) or MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging).
To treat a broken hip, sometimes all that is required is a splint or cast followed by physical therapy if the fracture is mild.
However, other times, immediate surgery may be required. Pins, screws, and plates are inserted into the femur to prevent motion at the fracture site so that the bones fuse back together. Depending on the severity, a person may require a walker for some time after surgery. In other cases, a person can be walking immediately or a few days after surgery.
Other surgeries involve the femoral head, neck, and socket being completely replaced (called a total hip replacement) with a medically manufactured neck, ball, and socket that is then screwed into the shaft of the femur.
Pain medication is also commonly prescribed to treat a hip fracture. It is important to note that such medication can affect the mental abilities of the patient and sometimes older patients can become confused and disoriented.
The healing process can result in long periods of immobility, disrupting normal daily activities and sometimes leading to blood clots and lung infections (pneumonia) as well as depression in patients.
What are the Causes of Hip Fractures?
The most common cause of a broken hip is a fall but other causes include normal aging (as the bones become brittle), osteoporosis (bone thinning from loss of calcium), tumors, a forceful collision, like an automobile accident, or other stresses from normal activity, such as walking or running.
Were you Injured at Work?
If you fell at work, possibly from a great height, or were struck in the hip region with great force while at work, you may be awarded compensation for future medical expenses by the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission. This will depend on a doctor’s diagnosis that future treatment, from cortisone injections to a total hip replacement, may likely be required at some point. Because a hip fracture may lead to a person being unable to walk as they once did or perform their job in the same way, future medical expenses such as physical therapy and vocational rehabilitation may also be awarded.
If you were injured at work, your workers’ compensation attorney should work on a contingency basis. Or, if you were injured in an accident, your personal injury attorney should also work on a contingency basis. Contingency basis means that you pay nothing unless get something. So, if you recover an award or settlement, your attorney is paid from that amount. If you get nothing, your attorney gets nothing. There is no cost to you.
Call us. We are free and we are confidential. We will listen to your situation and point you to an attorney in your area who will be the right fit for your case, whether it is personal injury, workers’ compensation or some other type of matter.
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