Broken hip injuries sustained while riding a bicycle are unfortunately common. They can happen if the cyclist is rear-ended, side-swiped, hit at an angle, or even hit head-on by a speeding, drunk, or distracted motorist. A cyclist can easily be thrown from the bike upon impact and land on his or her hip on the pavement.
A broken hip results in severe pain and the inability to stand or walk. It will require surgery either to repair or replace the hip bone. A physician has to assess the injury through an X-ray and then determine the proper treatment. Hip replacement surgery is indicated when the bones cannot be properly aligned. Total hip replacement is where the hip socket and upper portion of the thigh bone are replaced. These can be handled in either a traditional or minimally invasive way, the main difference being the size of the incision.
Two Types of Hip Replacement Surgery After a Cycling Crash
According to WebMD, in a posterior hip replacement operation, a general anesthesia is administered and an eight-to-ten-inch incision is made along the side of the hip. Then cuts are made to detach muscles connected to the top of the thighbone, exposing the hip joint. After the ball portion of the joint is removed by cutting the thighbone with a saw, an artificial joint is attached to the thighbone using cement or another material that permits the remaining bone to attach to the new joint. The surgeon then prepares the surface of the hipbone and attaches the replacement socket part to the hipbone. The new ball part of the thighbone is then inserted into the socket part of the hip. Finally, the surgeon reattaches the muscles and closes the incision.
An anterior procedure is a more minimally invasive one in which the surgeon makes small incisions (two-to-five inches) on the front side of the hip area, and the same procedure is performed through these small cuts. The advantage is that muscles are not severed but moved aside during the operation and blood loss is generally lessened. Pain is often eased during recovery along with reduced scar appearance. Hospital stays and recovery times can also be reduced. However, it is critical that the surgeon be very experienced in this type of procedure to avoid the statistically higher number of potential complications.
Recovery Time After Surgery for a Broken Hip
In either case, hip replacement surgery requires at least several days to a week in the hospital and a three-to-six month recovery time in which regular physical therapy is required. The emphasis in the early stage of rehab is to keep motion of the hip joint and ensure the ability to walk safely. For anywhere from six to twelve months after this type of operation, patients may be advised that pivoting or twisting on the involved leg should be avoided and that they should not cross the involved leg past the midline of the body or turn the involved leg inward or bend at the hip past ninety degrees. As with any operation, this surgery has risks that the surgeon will discuss with the patient.
The Cost of Hip Replacement Surgery
Aside from the physical implications, the financial cost of hip replacement surgery can be substantial. Although it varies widely in hospitals and other surgical facilities across the country, a ballpark estimate of the average cost is anywhere from $40,000 to $50,000. (Some states see costs as high as $75,000 to $100,000.) In this amount will be the charges for the pre-operative procedures (lab tests, physical exam, including but not limited to other emergency room services), the hospital stay charge, fees for the surgeon, the anesthesiologist, the radiologist, the pathologist, physical therapy, and post-op surgical supplies such as crutches, hand bars, raised toilet seats, etc.
Financial Compensation & How a Florida Bicycle Accident Lawyer Can Help
In a serious bicycle crash that necessitates hip replacement surgery, money damages may be recoverable to include emergency and surgery expenses, medical and rehabilitation bills, occupational and physical therapy treatments, lost wages or the ability to earn money in the future, mental anguish, pain, suffering, and loss of enjoyment of life.
If you, a loved one, or someone you know has been seriously injured in a bicycle crash in Florida, please contact us online or call our office at 727-446-0840 to speak with an experienced personal injury attorney who can navigate the complexities of financial recovery while you or the patient can focus on physical recovery. Although our primary office is in Clearwater, we represent cycling and other clients throughout Florida.