When you’re already suffering from a hip fracture, there’s little comfort knowing that you share the company of about 300,000 other people. That annual hip injury rate is expected to climb to 500,000 in the next 20 years. While in many cases, your hip should heal well with surgical repair and physical therapy, there are times when pain continues long past the point that it should. This could be a sign that you have a hip malunion.
Hip malunion describes a condition where, after a fracture or surgery on your hip, the bones don’t heal as they should. This may happen spontaneously or when you overexert your hip during the healing phase. Persistent hip pain is only one symptom of malunion. You may notice changes in the way you walk, the pattern of your steps called your gait. Your hip’s range of motion could be reduced, contributing to these gait changes. Depending on the location of the fracture, effects could be limited to your hip and thigh, or your entire leg may be affected.
Dr. Eric E. Johnson is an internationally trained and renowned orthopaedic trauma surgeon, experienced in the treatment of hip disorders. Choosing Dr. Johnson means you’re receiving leading-edge treatment for your orthopaedic issues. When it comes to hip malunion, Dr. Johnson reviews your symptoms and medical history before conducting a clinical exam that tests your range of motion and hip joint function.
Hip malunion typically needs diagnostic imaging to confirm the condition and start planning for treatment. The most common imaging procedures used are:
Hip malunion frequently requires a surgical procedure called an osteotomy, one of Dr. Johnson’s specialties. The osteotomy is performed to correct the bone issues introduced by the malunion. For the hip joint, this could involve reshaping the hip socket to accept the ball end of your femur better. Bone may be added or removed to correct misalignments that might be the source of your hip pain. Your hip joint may then be stabilized with special hardware to maintain good alignment.
Following Dr. Johnson’s instructions during recovery is essential to promote proper healing and to prevent further malunion damage. Having one hip fracture increases your chances of subsequent injury, so proper care, including post-surgery physical therapy, gives you the best chance for pain-free, fully functional life after your hip fracture.
Your consultation with Dr. Johnson starts with a simple phone call to his Los Angeles practice. Dial 424-309-1492 to schedule an appointment today.