Question:My mother has an unstable intertrochanteric fracture. She's having a special set of pins and a plate put in place to hold it together. The doctor thinks she's too old and too unstable for a hip replacement. What kind of fracture is this?
Unstable means the broken ends of bone could come further apart under stress. The two ends of bone can even slide past each other causing what's called a displaced fracture.
Intertrochanteric refers to a place high up on the thigh bone. It's at the base of the femoral neck. The neck is a bridge of bone between the femur and the ball at the end of the femur that fits into the hip socket.
Intertrochanteric is one of two common hip fractures. Older patients in poor health and with poor function are most likely to have this type of break.Roger Cornwall, MD, et al. Functional Outcomes and Mortality Vary Among Different Types of Hip Fractures. In Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research. August 2004. Vol. 425. Pp. 64-71.
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