Intertrochanteric hip fractures are a type of fracture that involves the upper part of the femur, or thigh bone. The hip is actually made up of two main bones: the femur and the pelvis. An intertrochanteric fracture occurs when the femur is broken just below the ball socket joint with the hip, where the bone turns toward the hip.
Two common methods of treatment for such hip fractures are open reduction internal fixation (ORIF) repair and intramedullary hip screws (IMHS) repair.
Intertrochanteric hip fractures can result from traumatic falls, vehicle accidents, or sports injuries. Unlike other types of hip fractures, these don’t cut off blood flow to the bone and usually don’t require partial or full hip replacement.
The intertrochanteric hip fracture can be repaired through ORIF technique, which involves realigning the bones during surgery and holding the pieces in place with hardware, usually metal plates and screws affixed to the outside of the bone. The IMHS surgery involves supporting the bone by putting metal rods inside where the marrow is and securing the rods with screws. Unless the hardware later causes pain, it usually stays in the body permanently.
The advantage of these surgeries is to provide more support for the bones, which allows the patient to begin moving the joint again sooner. It also allows the patient to begin physical therapy sooner.
Patients can usually begin walking about 4-6 weeks after the hip fracture is repaired, but physical therapy is needed for restoration of full mobility of the joint. The average recovery time is 3-4 months.