Open Reduction And Internal Fixation Of A Hip Fracture
What you should know
Open reduction and internal fixation (ORIF) is surgery to fix a broken bone in your hip. A hip fracture is a break in the top of the femur or in the hip socket. The femur is the long bone in your thigh that attaches to your pelvis at the hip joint. During ORIF, the broken parts of your femur will be put back together using metal hardware. You may also need an implant to replace your hip socket.
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- You may get an infection or bleed more than expected. Blood vessels, nerves, or muscles may be damaged. Your hip may not heal or work as well as it did before your injury. You may still have pain, a limp when you walk, or need to use a cane or walker.
- You are also at risk of developing a fat emboli. This is when fat is forced out of the inside of the bone and travels to other parts of your body. It can block blood flow to your lungs, brain, or heart. You may get a blood clot in your leg or arm. This can cause pain and swelling, and it can stop blood from flowing where it needs to go in your body. The blood clot can break loose and travel to your lungs or brain. A blood clot in your lungs can cause chest pain and trouble breathing. A blood clot in your brain can cause a stroke. These problems can be life-threatening.
- Without surgery, you may continue to have very bad pain. You may continue to bleed if you have broken blood vessels, and this could become life-threatening. Your broken hip may not heal properly and your leg may stay bent. You may not be able to walk or move your hip joint as well as before. You may not be able to walk at all.
The week before your surgery:
- Write down the date, time, and location of your surgery.
- Ask your caregiver if you need to stop using aspirin or any other prescribed or over-the-counter medicine before your procedure or surgery.
- Bring your medicine bottles or a list of your medicines when you see your caregiver. Tell your caregiver if you are allergic to any medicine. Tell your caregiver if you use any herbs, food supplements, or over-the-counter medicine.
- You may need to take medicine called blood thinners. This helps prevent blood clots from forming.
- You may need to have an MRI or x-rays of your hips and legs. Write down the date, time, and location of each test.
- Ask a family member or friend to drive you home after surgery. Do not drive yourself home.
The night before your surgery:
- You may be given medicine to help you sleep.
- Ask caregivers about directions for eating and drinking.
The day of your surgery:
- Caregivers may insert an intravenous tube (IV) into your vein. A vein in the arm is usually chosen. Through the IV tube, you may be given liquids and medicine.
- An anesthesiologist will talk to you before your surgery. You may need medicine to keep you asleep or numb an area of your body during surgery. Tell caregivers if you or anyone in your family has had a problem with anesthesia in the past.
- You or a close family member will be asked to sign a legal document called a consent form. It gives caregivers permission to do the procedure or surgery. It also explains the problems that may happen, and your choices. Make sure all your questions are answered before you sign this form.
What will happen:
- Your caregiver will make an incision on your hip to see the damaged femur. He will straighten your femur and put the broken pieces of bone together. He may use metal screws, bars, plates, or rods to hold the broken bones tightly together.
- Caregivers will use an artificial implant to replace the head of your femur, if needed. It will be tightly fitted to the top of your femur. It may be secured using screws or cement. If your hip socket is badly damaged, it may also be replaced with an implant. X-rays may be taken during surgery to help caregivers put your hip joint back together. X-rays can also show caregivers if the devices and implants are in the right places. A drain may be placed to carry blood and other fluids away from your hip joint. Your incision will be closed with stitches or staples and covered with a bandage.
After your surgery:
You will be taken to a recovery room where you can rest until you are fully awake. Caregivers will monitor you closely. When caregivers see that you are okay, you will be taken back to your hospital room. The bandages covering your incision will help prevent infection. A caregiver will remove the bandage soon after your surgery to check the area. Do not try to get out of bed until your caregiver says it is okay.
Contact a caregiver if
- You get sick with a cold, the flu, or a fever.
- You have infected skin or a wound near your hip.
- You have questions or concerns about your surgery.
Seek Care Immediately if
- You have a lot more pain, or you have trouble walking or moving your hips.
- You suddenly have pain in your chest and trouble breathing.
- You feel confused and have trouble thinking and remembering things.
- You feel faint and very weak, or you lose consciousness.
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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.