Thumbnail image of: Hip Fracture: Illustration
Thumbnail image of: Hip Anatomy: Illustration
Thumbnail image of: Hip Replacement: Illustration

Hip (Femur Neck) Fracture Discharge Information

What is a hip fracture?

The hip is the joint where the top of the bone in your upper leg (called the femur or thighbone) meets the pelvic bone. The hip joint is called a ball and socket joint. The top of the femur (called the femoral head) is rounded, like a ball. It fits into a concave area (socket) on the pelvic bone, called the acetabulum. A hip fracture is a break at the upper end of your femur, close to where the femur meets the pelvic bone. It is a serious injury.

You are more at risk for a hip fracture if you:

  • Are a woman who is past menopause
  • Are an older adult
  • Have osteoporosis, which is thinning and weakening of the bones
  • Have a disease that weakens the bones, such as cancer or kidney disease
  • Are taking medicine that weakens the bones

How can I take care of myself when I go home?

How long it takes to get better depends on your treatment, how well you recover, your overall health, and any complications you may have.


  • Your provider will give you a list of your medicines when you leave the hospital.
    • Know your medicines. Know what they look like, how much you should take each time, how often you should take them, and why you take each one.
    • Take your medicines exactly as your provider tells you to.
    • Carry a list of your medicines in your wallet or purse. Include any nonprescription medicines and supplements on the list.
  • Your provider may prescribe medicine to:
    • Treat pain
    • Treat or prevent an infection
    • Prevent side effects, such as nausea or constipation, from other treatments
    • Help prevent blood clots
    • Help build bone and prevent bone loss
  • You may need to continue a rehabilitation program after you leave the hospital to help you recover from your hip fracture. You many need to move to a rehabilitation facility for treatment before you are able to go home. If you were confined to a wheelchair or bed before the injury, you may need to move to a nursing home before you will be able to return to a home setting. Most rehabilitation programs include:
    • Physical therapy to help you regain muscle strength and teach you ways to move safely.
    • Occupational therapy to help you relearn ways to do the things you did previously.
  • If you have had surgery, to care for your incision:
    • Keep your incision clean.
    • If you are told to change your dressing on your incision, wash your hands before changing the dressing and after disposing of the dressing.


  • Follow your provider’s instructions for follow-up appointments and routine tests.
  • Talk with your provider about any questions or fears you have.

Diet, Exercise, and Other Lifestyle Changes

  • Follow the treatment plan your healthcare provider prescribes.
  • Get plenty of rest while you’re recovering. Try to get at least 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night.
  • Eat a healthy diet.
  • Drink enough fluids to keep your urine light yellow in color, unless you are told to limit fluids.
  • Exercise as your provider recommends.
  • Don’t smoke. Smoking can delay healing.
  • Ask your healthcare provider if there are any foods or medicines you should avoid.
  • Lose weight if you need to and keep a healthy weight.
  • Follow activity restrictions, such as not driving or operating machinery, as recommended by your healthcare provider, physical therapist, or pharmacist.
  • Find someone to help you with your activities for a time after you go home.
  • Make your home safe to prevent injury and help you heal. This may include:
    • Removing throw rugs from the floors to prevent tripping
    • Installing hand rails or grab bars in showers or other areas where you may slip
    • Using raised toilet seats or other equipment to keep your hip in the proper position

Call your healthcare provider if you have new or worsening:

  • Trouble doing your normal daily activities.
  • Pain that is not controlled with your medicines
  • If you had surgery, signs of infection around your surgical wound. These include:
    • The area around your wound is more red or painful.
    • Your wound area is very warm to touch.
    • You have blood, pus, or other fluid coming from the wound area.
    • You have a fever higher than 101.5° F (38.6° C).
    • You have chills or muscle aches.
  • Swelling in your leg, ankle, or foot on the side of your hip fracture
  • Coldness or change in color of the skin of your leg, ankle, or foot on the side of your hip fracture
  • Warmth, redness, or pain in your leg
  • If you are taking medicine to prevent blood clots, unusual or unexpected bleeding
Developed by RelayHealth.
Acute Care Advisor 2015.1 published by RelayHealth.
Last modified: 2013-10-24
Last reviewed: 2015-01-22
This content is reviewed periodically and is subject to change as new health information becomes available. The information is intended to inform and educate and is not a replacement for medical evaluation, advice, diagnosis or treatment by a healthcare professional.
Copyright ©1986-2015 McKesson Corporation and/or one of its subsidiaries. All rights reserved.

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