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Hip pain

Hip Pain

Hip pain can be debilitating and significantly impact your daily life. It hinders your mobility and diminishes your overall well-being. Pain in your hip can be from physical activity or a medical condition like arthritis. 

If you’re experiencing discomfort in your hip, you must understand the underlying causes and potential treatment options. In many cases, surgery is a key, particularly for fractures and severe injuries.

Understanding hip pain

Hip pain is a symptom arising from fractures or other conditions. It may manifest as a dull ache, sharp pain, or discomfort during daily activities such as the following.

Walking: Hip pain can make walking difficult and uncomfortable. Individuals may develop an altered gait to avoid putting too much pressure on the affected hip.

Climbing stairs: Ascending and descending stairs involve substantial hip movement. Hip pain can limit the range of motion and cause discomfort during stair climbing.

Standing up and sitting down: Rising from a seated position or lowering into a chair can be challenging for individuals with hip pain, especially if the pain is related to osteoarthritis or a hip fracture.

Bending and twisting: Activities that involve bending at the waist or twisting the torso can exacerbate hip pain. This limitation may impact daily tasks such as picking up objects from the floor or reaching for items in low cabinets.

Lifting heavy objects: Lifting heavy objects requires the engagement of the hip muscles. Hip pain can restrict the ability to lift objects safely and comfortably.

Physical activities and exercise: Hip pain may limit or restrict running, cycling, or playing certain sports.

Getting in and out of vehicles: Entering and exiting a car, especially if the seat is low or the vehicle is high, can be excruciating for those with hip pain.

Maintaining balance: Hip pain can affect balance, making it more challenging for individuals to stand on one leg or maintain stability on uneven surfaces.

Causes of hip pain

Hip pain can be due to many reasons, ranging from overuse injuries to trauma. 

Hip fractures: Fractures of the hip, often resulting from falls or trauma, can cause significant pain and require prompt medical attention. Fractures can occur in different hip parts, including the femoral neck or the greater trochanter.

Osteoarthritis: This degenerative joint condition occurs when the protective cartilage cushions the ends of bones and wears down over time. Osteoarthritis can lead to pain, stiffness, and reduced range of motion in the hip joint.

Rheumatoid arthritis: Rheumatoid arthritis can affect joints, including the hips. This autoimmune disorder has the body’s immune system attacking the lining of the joint capsule, leading to inflammation, pain, and potentially joint damage.

Bursitis: Inflammation of the bursae can lead to hip pain. The bursae are fluid-filled sacs cushioning the hip joint. Trochanteric bursitis affects the bursa on the outside of the hip, while iliopsoas bursitis affects the bursa on the inside.

Conservative treatments for hip fractures in Singapore

Your orthopaedic specialist may consider conservative treatments for stable or non-displaced hip fractures. These non-surgical methods aim to support your natural healing.


  • Bracing or splinting: Stabilising the hip with a brace or splint helps prevent movement and promotes healing.
  • Traction: Traction involves applying a gentle pulling force to the leg using weights and pulleys to help align the bones and reduce pain.

Pain management

  • Medications: Over-the-counter pain relievers or prescription pain medications may be prescribed to manage pain and discomfort.

Physical therapy

  • Range of motion exercises: Gentle exercises to maintain joint flexibility without stressing on the healing bones.
  • Strengthening exercises: Once the fracture begins to heal, targeted exercises can help restore strength to the muscles surrounding the hip.

However, the effectiveness of traditional measures depends on the specific characteristics of your hip fracture.

Surgery for broken hips

If your hip pain is severe and if your condition does not respond to conversative treatment, surgery will be the ideal treatment. It will effectively align the bones, promote proper healing, and facilitate early mobilisation. 

Common surgeries for a broken hip

Hip pinning (internal fixation): Hip pinning is a procedure that uses screws, pins, or plates to stabilise the fractured bones. It’s commonly employed for stable fractures and helps maintain proper alignment during healing.

Hip replacement (arthroplasty): Hip replacement surgery may be necessary if the hip fracture is severe and involves the hip joint. The procedure removes the broken areas of the hip joint before replacing them with artificial parts.

Partial hip replacement (hemiarthroplasty): In cases where only the femoral head is affected, a partial hip replacement may be performed, replacing the damaged portion with a prosthetic component.

External fixation: An external device may stabilise the fractured hip in certain situations. This procedure is less common and typically reserved for specific fracture types.

The type of broken hip surgery you will need depends on factors such as the type of hip fracture, the patient’s overall health, and the surgeon’s judgement.

Preparing for surgery and recovery

Before undergoing a broken hip surgery, thorough preparation is essential. Your doctor may order:

  • Pre-operative evaluations
  • Imaging tests
  • Discussions with the orthopaedic surgeon 

Understanding what to expect before a broken hip surgery can help alleviate your concerns and ensure a smoother process. You must also prepare for the extended recovery period of complete bed rest. The following are some tips to help you.

Home preparation

Arrange your living space to accommodate post-surgery needs. Clear pathways and remove tripping hazards. Set up a comfortable recovery area with necessary items within easy reach.

Assistive devices

If advised, acquire assistive devices such as crutches, a walker, or a cane. Ensure they are correctly fitted, and practise using them before your broken hip surgery.

Post-surgery care plan

Discuss post-surgery care with your surgeon, including instructions for wound care, medications, and any activity restrictions. It would be best to arrange for someone to assist you at home during the initial recovery period, especially if you live alone.


Plan for transportation to and from the hospital or surgical centre on the day of the procedure. Have a friend or family member drive you home after surgery, as you may be unable to drive immediately.

Broken hip surgery in Singapore

Hip pain from a fracture or other conditions is painful and disruptive to many aspects of your life. However, it should not be a life-long ailment. Treatments are available to help you get better and live normally again.

At Spire Orthopaedic Clinic, we specialise in comprehensive care for hip conditions, providing diagnosis and personalised treatment plans. Our experienced orthopaedic surgeons are skilled in various surgeries for broken hips, tailored to each patient’s unique needs.

If you’re living with hip pain and wondering if surgery is the right solution, Spire Orthopaedic Clinic is here to guide you. Schedule a consultation with our orthopaedic team to explore your options.

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