Hip Fracture Treatment with Surgical Screws

Hip fracture repair and recovery can take a long time, depending on age, type of fracture, and overall health. Most patients require surgery to fix the fracture or to replace all or part of their hip. During the process, orthopedic surgeons use internal or external fixation to hold the bone in proper position during healing. Metallic devices such as wires, pins, screws and plates are used for the internal or external fixation. For instance, cannulated screws are used to fix simple breaks in the bone by pulling the pieces together. A compression hip screw is used to allow the fracture to become more stable by having the broken area impact on itself. Occasionally, a secondary screw may be added for stability. Intramedullary (Gamma®) nails are employed to fix intertrochanteric and subtrochanteric hip fractures. These Gamma nails combine the features of intramedullary nailing with the compression lag screw, and add the capability of distal locking. The combination of nail and screw design and biomechanical principles achieves greater strength and stability for load-sharing and physiologic stress.