Hip Fractures - Intertrochanteric Fractures - Diagnosis

Fishkill Injury Attorney Serving Myers Corner, Beacon, Lagrangeville and Nearby Areas of Hudson Valley

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Hip Fractures:  This is the first part of a two-part blog series on hip fractures. Intertrochanteic hip fractures are the most common type of hip fracture. "Intertrochanteric" is defined as occurring between the trochanters of the femur. Specifically it's the line located on the anterior side of the proximal end of the femur. It's situated in the space between the greater and lesser trochanters of the femur.

What is an intertrochanteric fracture? The term encompasses fractures of several different parts of the top of the femur (upper thigh bone).  

What are the reasons of intertrochanteric fracture?

Intertrochanteric fracturesof the femoral neck is more common in the elderly but fractures of the femoral shaft and supracondylar fractures are usually caused by violent trauma and most often occur to teenagers and young adults. Usually you will notice symptoms after a fall, but the intertrochanteric fracture can also occur without a fall, especially if the bone is very weak because of osteoporosis or other health conditions. Taking certain medicines may also lead to bone loss. 

Intertrochanteric fractures vary from simple to the highly complex. Some give rise to little or no difficulty; some can be coaxed into good position with reasonable certainty that the position will remain good; while in others, deformity is inevitable.

The symptoms: The symptoms of patients who have sustained an intertochanteric fracture can vary widely,depending on severity, type, and causes. There are many types of intertrochanteric fracture patients:

1) Displaced fracture patients are clearly symptomatic and patients usually can't stand, much less ambulate.

2) Non-displaced fracture patients may be ambulatory and experience minimal pain.

3) Other patients may complain of groin pain and have no history of antecedent trauma.

Whatever the situation, and the condition, the orthopedist must exclude the possibility of intertrochanteric fracture in anyone who complains of thigh or groin pain. As with all fractures, it is important to know the exact mechanism of injury, most intertrochanteric fractures in the elderly are the results of a low-energy fall, whereas in young adults they are more often caused by high energy.

There are general symptoms for intertrochanteric fractures:

  • Severe pain in your groin or hip.
  • You usually can't walk or even put weight on the injured leg.
  • Inability to move immediately after a fall.
  • You will find shorter leg on the side of your injured hip.
  • Inability to put weight on your leg on the side of your injured hip
  • Turning your leg outward on the side of your injured hip.
  • Bruising, Stiffness and swelling in and around your hip area.

The diagnosis of an intertrochanteric fracture:

X-rays are used to diagnose intertrochanteric fracture or broken hip condition. You may need an MRI, a CT scan, or a bone scan if your doctor thinks that you have a fracture but cannot see it on an X-ray.

If you or a loved one has been the victim of a serious injury such as a hip fracture, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact an experienced hip fracture trial lawyer at The Maurer Law Firm, PLLC to schedule a free consultation to discuss your rights by filling out our free website "Tell Us About Your Case" review form, or phone us directly at 845- 896-5295.

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Posted by Ira M. Maurer, Esq. for The Maurer Law Firm, PLLC

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