Post femoral neck fracture physiotherapy aims to improve strength and range of motion of the involved extremity. Establish independent gait without assistive device and minimize complications.
This is probably the most common and most significant fracture in terms of morbidity, mortality and socioeconomic impact in developed countries (Reginster et al. 1999). Mortality afer fracture neck of femur is high; (Schurch et al. 1996) found that the 1 year death rate was as high as 23.8 percent.
The following is the Garden classification of femoral neck fractures:
In addition, femoral neck fracture is classified by its location:
Femoral neck fractures are extremely common in the elderly, often following falls, and most orthopedic units will have a number of these fractures at any one time. The bone's architecture may have been so weakened that patients state they 'heard a crack' before they hit the ground. In other words, the fracture caused the fall, not the fall the fracture. Osteoporosis is often referred to as the silent epidemic as it may not present any clinical signs until fracture.
The resulting fracture is usually displaced with lateral rotation of the femoral shaft so that the leg will be laterally rotated in comparison with the other limb. Occasionally the fragments are impacted in slight abduction and the patient may be able to get up and walk after the injury. Displaced fractures will need operative fixation. The usual method is to excise the head and perform replacement arthroplasty using one of the metal prosthesis e.g. Thompson's hemiarthroplasty. This is the method of choice for displaced fractures because of the dangers of avascular necrosis, and because of the benefits of early mobilization , which is so important in the frail.
An alternative method of fixation is a compression screw plate called a ' dynamic hip screw'- so called because it permits dynamic movement at the fracture site, which stimulates healing. Minimally displaced (e.g. Garden type 1) fractures may be managed by cannulated screw fixation.
Main risks following ORIF-
Main risks following Arthroplasty-
Reasons for non-union-
1. Two to three days postoperative
2. Three to five days postoperative
Patients with cemented joint replacements can weight bear as tolerated (WBAT) unless the operative procedure involved a soft-tissue repair or internal fixation of bone.
Patients with cementless, or ingrowth , joint replacements are put on partial weight bearing (PWB) or toe-touch weight bearing (TTWB) for 6 weeks to allow maximum bony ingrowth to take place.
A. Two to three days postoperative
B. Three to five days postoperative
I. Evaluation. Make final assessment of patient's functional level, gait, range of motion, and strength.
II. Follow-up plan/referral
III. Home program
During the 1st week: Femoral neck fracture Physiotherapy Management
The wound is inspected for evidence of infection and the drains are removed after 24 hours. Pulmonary embolism and hypovolaemia are a distinct possibility and a careful watch is kept to prevent bedsores from developing, the patient is frequently turned in the bed. Derotation bar helps prevent external rotation of the affected limb. Patients treated with hemiarthroplasty should avoid keeping the hip in adduction or internal rotation to prevent redislocation.
a. Movements: A full range active movements of the ankle, gentle active movements of flexion and extension of the hip and knee (once the pain subsides) is permitted. Caution: No passive range of motion at this stage.
b. Exercises: After the pain subsides, isometric gluteal and quadriceps exercises are begun. Isotonic exercises are prescribed for the ankle as it helps to strengthen the gastro-soleus muscle and reduces the chances of thrombophlebitis and deep vein thrombosis.
c. Weight-bearing: By the end of first week, weight bearing with the help of a crutch or walker using a 3-point gait may be permitted. However, it is deferred in unstable fractures. For patients with endoprosthesis, weight bearing as tolerated is permitted.
d. Activities of daily living: Certain modifications are brought about in the activities of daily living. Use of raised toilet seat and chair, wearing the trousers from the affected limb first and removing it from the unaffected limb, rolling on to the unaffected side before getting up from the bed are some of the recommended modifications in daily living.
During 2-4 weeks: Femoral neck fracture Physiotherapy Management
a. Movements: Active and active-assistive movements of the hip, knee and ankle can now be started. However, no passive movements are still recommended.
b. Exercises: Ankle isotonic exercises are continued. Isometric exercises for the hip and knee are prescribed.
c. Weight-bearing: This has to be done on the following lines:
d. Activities of daily living: Modifications in activities of daily living are the same as mentioned earlier.
during 4-8 weeks: Femoral neck fracture Physiotherapy Management
The treatment regimen is more or less the same as discussed above. The patient can now flex the hip upto 90 degree, by the self-assisted "heel drag", (i.e. dragging the heel upto the buttocks with the help of the normal leg). The patient can now be encouraged to sit with the legs hanging over the edge of the bed and supporting and lifting the affected limb with the unaffected leg. Assisted and self-resistive exercises for the hip and knee muscles can be carried out.
After 8 weeks: Femoral neck fracture Physiotherapy Management
Passive range of movements by the physiotherapist or by continuous passive motion apparatus is begun to the hip and knee. Isotonic and isokinetic exercises to the hip and knee are initiated alongwith progressive resistive exercises. Weight-bearing with the affected extremity with the help of crutches or walker using a four point gait can be initiated as the patient can bear more weight now. Activities of daily living can be allowed normally with the help of assistive devices.
However, excessive adduction and internal rotation should be avoided in patients treated with endoprosthesis.
By 12-16 weeks: Femoral neck fracture Physiotherapy Management
Full weight-bearing is allowed. Full active and passive range of motion exercises are permitted to the hip and knee joints. Isometrics, isotonic and progressive resistive exercises are continued to the hip, knee and ankle joints. Patient can now carry out all the activities of daily living independently.
The physiotherapy regimen is more or less the same for patients treated with hemiarthroplasty (the emphasis is on to prevent adduction and internal rotation to prevent redislocation), McMurray's osteotomy, Meyer's muscle pedicle graft, etc.