Ayurvedic treatment for Hip fracture

Hip fracture

Know More on Bone Diseases

  • Definition
  • Causes
  • Symptoms
  • Diagnosis
  • Management
  • FAQS
  • References

Definition

Hip fracture Ayurvedic treatment

A Hip fracture is a fracture in one of the bones of the hip – most commonly occurring in the neck of the femur (the thigh bone). This can happen as a result of severe trauma or generally in older age due to a falling and weak bones.1

According to Ayurveda, compromises in bone movements can be caused due to various injuries including by slip/fall, pressure on joints, excessive movements, animal bites, striking, etc. When these compromises in bone movements lead to fractures, it is called as Asthi bhagna (Asthi – bone, bhagna –breakage). Fractures can be of two types2:

  • Sandhimukta - that is dislocation 
  • Kanda-bhagna - that is body fracture

As per Ayurveda the fractures at Hip region are classified to dislocation fractures (utpista).2

Causes

Hip fracture

Generally hip fractures can be caused because of a trauma due to accident, falls, injuries or violence. Hip fracture is very common in the elderly as it often happens due to a fall from height or sometimes even with twisting of the foot in people with weak bones. Younger people often have hip fractures as an outcome of a motor vehicle accident.1

Symptoms

Hip fracture

Hip fractures are a medical emergency. They need immediate medical attention. Following symptoms are suggestive of a hip fracture: 

  • Inability to move after falling
  • Severe pain in the hip region
  • Unable to stand or carry the weight of the body on the affected side of leg
  • Shortening of the leg on side of injured hip

Diagnosis

Hip fracture

Your doctor will diagnose your hip fracture by performing a physical examination and understanding the symptoms that you experience. Your doctor will also ask you to undergo an X-ray to confirm the diagnosis.

In some cases, when an X-ray does not clearly show signs of fracture, an MRI scan may be needed to check for a hairline fracture that gets missed.1

  • X-Rays – to confirm hip fracture and rule out other causes of the pain
  • CT scan – imaging test to look for the source of the fracture and determine how severe it is
  • MRI- For visualizing an unseen hip fracture

Management

Hip fracture

The treatment for hip fractures usually involves surgical correction, physiotherapy and medicines to reduce pain and swelling.1

Depending on the location of the fracture and how severe it is, along with your age and underlying health diseases, your doctor will take a call on what is the appropriate surgery for managing your hip fracture. The types of surgeries include:1

  • Internal repair of hip using screws – Screws attached to a metal plate are inserted into the bone to hold your hip bone together while your fracture heals
  • Partial hip replacement – it is performed in cases when the ends of the broken bone are displaced or damaged. The head and neck of the hip bone are replaced with a metal prosthesis
  • Total hip replacement – it is performed in cases with a history of arthritis or previous bone injury. Complete hip bone is replaced with a metal prosthesis

Ayurveda also believes in manual manipulation to adjust bones to their proper positions and then apply bandages in some form to mobilize them.3

Additionally, Ayurveda also recommends a combination of healthy diet (ahar) and lifestyle changes (vihar) in order to manage the condition effectively. These include:3

Diet Recommendations (Aahar)

  • Consume diet rich in Calcium and Vitamin C for early recovery
  • Meat soup, Milk, Pea Soup
  • Increase protein intake in your diet with foods such as milk, eggs, chicken soup, fish, lentils, curd, paneer, etc to help retain muscle and cause early bone recovery
  • Increase intake of vata-decreasing foods such as
    • Rice
    • Ghee
    • Boiled milk
  • Good herbs for you (to be eaten with ghee or used as an external plaster): Manjishtha, red sandalwood, shatavari, flaxseed, horsetail, Solomon’s seal, and comfrey
  • Avoid certain foods in your diet, such as
    • Carbonated drinks
    • Packaged foods
    • Junk food
    •  salt
    • Spicy foods
    • Acidic, pungent and alkaline foods
    • Oily foods

Lifestyle changes (Vihar)

  • Take adequate rest to ensure quick healing of bones
  • For bandaging and washing, use tree bard of herbs of nyagrodhadi group. Avoid putting pressure on the injured part
  • Do regular cold washes, apply plasters and do gentle oil massages

FAQS

Hip fracture
  1. What is Osteoarthritis? How is it caused?

Osteoarthritis refers to a type of bone and joint problem in which a person suffering from it will have pains in joints. This happens due to the wearing down of the protective cartilage on the bones due to age or other factors. While any joint in the body can have osteoarthritis, usually it happens commonly in the joints of knees, hips, spinal column and hands.

Osteoarthritis is caused due to damage of the cartilages of the ends of the bones. This damage generally occurs due to multiple factors primarily being increasing age. Apart for age, the other factors that cause the damage to cartilage are Obesity, female gender and trauma to the joint.

  1. What is Rheumatoid arthritis? How is it different from osteoarthritis?

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) refers to an auto immune disorder where the body’s defense systems turn against the body and mainly affect the joints but may also severely affect the eyes, skin, lungs, heart and blood vessels. It generally manifests as pain in the joints along with swelling and difficulty in movements.

Unlike osteoarthritis which affects the weight bearing joints, RA affects any and most joints of the body. It generally presents with swelling (hot swollen joints) as a cardinal feature and also shows some systemic manifestations (such as affects the eyes, skin, lungs, heart etc) unlike OA.

  1. What is osteoporosis? How is it recognized?

Osteoporosis refers to the condition where the bone becomes weak. Instead of the strong tissue that support the body structure, bones become brittle from inside and are capable of breaking with a minor jerk or fall. This leads to fractures in the hands, hips and legs with minor falls or injuries.

It can be recognized based on specific signs and symptoms and a BMD test. Symptoms are as follows -

  • Easily having a bone fracture
  • Pain in the back
  • Height becomes lesser than usual
  • A dropping posture
  1. What first aid should I offer to a person with a fracture?

If you witness a person developing fracture, take these actions immediately -

  • Urgently call for medical help or arrange for an ambulance
  • Stop any bleeding if there is an open wound. This can be done by applying pressure with a clean cloth or tight bandaging.
  • Avoid moving the injured area.
  • Apply ice packs to the injured part
  • If the person faints of is short of breath, put their head at a lower side and legs at a higher angle
  1. How does one know if a child has rickets?

The signs and symptoms of rickets are as follows –

  • Crooked or bow shaped legs
  • Thick joints of hands and feet
  • Protruded chest bone
  • A delay in growth milestones
  • Muscular weakness
  1. How does one have a dislocated joint?

Dislocations are usually caused due to a trauma or as a sports injury. Falls associated with contact sports such as football, basketball etc can lead to a dislocation.

Additionally, a fall on the outstretched hand and trauma due to a motor accident, too can cause dislocation.

  1. What is a Tennis elbow? How is it caused?

Tennis elbow refers to the pain in elbow due to swelling of the tendons which may occur due to repetitive movements of the wrists. Unlike the name suggests, the condition affects non-athletes as well.

It is caused due to overuse of the tendons resulting in a muscle strain injury. Any activity that requires repeated motions of the elbow and wrists can cause tiny injuries in the tendons leading to tennis elbow.

  1. What is frozen shoulder and how is it caused?

Frozen shoulder refers to a condition where the shoulder seems to be frozen in its movements. This condition cause pain and stiffness in the shoulder and restricts any kinds of movements. Medically, this condition in also known as adhesive capsulitis.

While the exact cause of frozen shoulder is not understood, it is believed to be caused due to a swelling of the joints covering called as capsule. This may happen due to long periods of immobility or trauma to the underlying nerve.

  1. How does a hip get fractured?

Generally hip fractures can be caused because of a trauma due to accident, falls, injuries or rarely violence. Hip fracture is very common in the elderly as it often happens due to a fall from height or sometimes even with twisting of the foot in people with weak bones. Younger people often have hip fracture as an outcome of a motor vehicle accident.

  1. What is meant by slipped disc?

A slipped disc refers to the swelling in the cushion between two bones, most commonly the vertebra (individual bones of the spine). This cushion is supposed to provide mobility and flexibility to the spine. This cushion between the vertebra is called as a disc and is filed with a gel like substance that provides the flexibility.

Slipped disc is the swelling of this disc which causes pain and obstructs mobility of the spine. A swelling in the cushion leads to some of the gel in the disc to protrude out between the bones.

References

Hip fracture
  1. Mayo Clinic. Hip Fracture. Available at http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/hip-fracture/basics/definition/con-20021033 accessed on Sept 20th 2016
  2. Yogitha B et al. Fractures: Ayurvedic and Modern perspectives. IJRAP. 2012; 3(2): 141-49 
  3. Swami Sadashiva Tirtha. The Ayurveda Encyclopaedia: Natural secrets to healing, prevention and longetivity. 2005

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