Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine

Hip FAQ

Question:

Have you ever heard of a cervical hip fracture? What is that? I thought the cervical bones were in the neck, not in the hip.

Answer:

There are many types of hip fractures, usually named for their location. A basic understanding of the hip anatomy will help visualize where the fractures occur. The hip joint is one of the true ball-and-socket joints of the body. The hip socket is called the acetabulum.It forms a deep cup that surrounds the ball of the upper thighbone, or femoral head. The femoral head is attached to the rest of the femur by a short section of bone called the femoral neck. A bony bump on the outside of the femur just below the femoral neck is called the greater trochanter. A smaller bony bump on the femur called the lesser trochanter is located on a diagonal from the greater trochanter. These two bumps on the femur are where some of the hip muscles attach. A cervical hip fracture refers to the fact that the break is inside the joint itself. Either the top of the femur (called a subcapital fracture) or the acetabulum (hip socket) have a break. Another term for the location of these fractures is intracapsular or cervical. When the break affects the hip, but is not right inside the hip, the fracture is referred to as an extracapsular hip fracture. The fracture may occur in the neck of the femur (femoral neck fracture), between the two trochanters (intertrochanteric fracture), or in the main shaft of the femur just below the lesser trochanter and may extend down the shaft of the femur. This last type of hip fracture is called a subtrochanteric fracture. Marco Di Monaco, MD, et al. Type of Hip Fracture in Patients with Parkinson Disease is Associated with Femoral Bone Mineral Density. In Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.

*Disclaimer:* The information contained herein is compiled from a variety of sources. It may not be complete or timely. It does not cover all diseases, physical conditions, ailments or treatments. The information should NOT be used in place of visit with your healthcare provider, nor should you disregard the advice of your health care provider because of any information you read in this topic.
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