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Q: I broke my hip in a serious Harrisburg car wreck. Why is a femoral neck fracture so hard to treat?

The hip is a ball-and-socket joint that allows the leg to move in almost any direction. The ball portion of the joint is at the top of the femur, or thigh bone. The socket is a cup-like depression in the pelvis. A broken hip is a fracture—either total or partial—somewhere near the top quarter of the femur. 

Approximately 90 percent of hip fractures fall into two major categories: femoral neck fractures or intertrochanteric hip fractures. A femoral neck fracture is a break in the femur just below the head. The bone there is narrow and looks like the “neck” on which the head sits. This type of fracture can be very challenging to treat due to the following: 

  • The femoral neck supplies blood to the head of the femur. A femoral neck fracture can disrupt the blood supply to the head of the femur and cause vascular necrosis, or bone death.
  • When a bone breaks, a clot called a fracture hematoma forms to aid in the healing process. In the case of a femoral neck fracture, the synovial joint fluid in the hip joint has a tendency to wash the clot away. This prevents callus—soft bone that fills the fracture—from forming and the fracture does not heal well as a result.
  • A femoral neck fracture produces two very different bone fragments. One fragment is typically quite small and includes the head of the femur and part of the neck of the femur. The other fragment is quite large and contains a portion of the neck of the femur and the long part of the bone. Due to the disparity in size between the two bone fragments, the fracture can be very difficult to align. 

Hip fractures are quite painful, difficult to treat and can result in a very long recovery. Have you suffered a serious hip fracture or other injury in a car accident due to the negligence of another party? Contact an experienced car crash lawyer in Harrisburg at Schmidt Kramer to discuss your legal options. The toll-free number is (717) 888-8888 and the case evaluation is free.

You may also wish to download a free copy of the book Who Pays the Bills When You Are Injured in an Automobile Accident? for more information.