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Hip Fracture ORIF


Hip Fracture ORIF Surgeon

Hip fractures are usually caused by a minor (in the elderly) or high‐energy trauma or serious injury in the hip. ORIF is a surgical technique employed to restore normal anatomy and improve range of motion or function. Hip fracture ORIF surgeon Dr. Kelechi Okoroha provides diagnosis and individualized non-operative and operative treatment plans in Minneapolis. He also provides highly specialized care during and after surgery. Contact Dr. Okoroha’s team for an appointment today!

What is a Hip Fracture?

A hip fracture is a break that occurs near the hip in the upper part of the femur or thighbone. The thighbone has two bony processes on the upper part - the greater and lesser trochanters. The lesser trochanter projects from the base of the femoral neck on the back of the thighbone. Hip fractures can occur either due to a break in the femoral neck, in the area between the greater and lesser trochanter or below the lesser trochanter.

What does ORIF mean?

Open reduction and internal fixation (ORIF) is a surgical technique employed for the treatment of a fracture to restore normal anatomy and improve range of motion and function. Dr. Okoroha has extensive training in hip fracture ORIF and provides this service for patients in Minneapolis, St. Paul, Rochester, Eden Prairie, Minnetonka, Minnesota and beyond.


The hip joint is a “ball and socket” joint. The “ball” is the head of the femur or thigh bone, and the “socket” is the cup-shaped acetabulum. It enables the upper leg to bend and rotate at the pelvis. The joint surface is covered by a smooth articular surface that allows pain-free movement in the joint.

Causes of Hip Fractures

Hip fractures are most frequently caused after minor trauma in elderly patients with weak bones and by high-energy trauma or serious injuries in the young. Long term use of certain medicines, such as bisphosphonates to treat osteoporosis (a disease causing weak bones) and other bone diseases, increases the risk of hip fractures.

When a hip fracture is suspected, it is important to schedule an orthopedic consultation for proper examination and care. Dr. Kelechi Okoroha is a hip fractures specialist who provides detailed examination and care for patients with hip fractures in Minneapolis, St. Paul, Rochester, Eden Prairie, Minnetonka, Minnesota and beyond.

Signs and Symptoms of Hip Fractures

The signs and symptoms of hip fractures include:

  • Pain in the groin or outer upper thigh
  • Swelling and tenderness
  • Discomfort while rotating the hip
  • Shortening of the injured leg
  • Outward or inward turning of the foot and knee of the injured leg


The diagnosis of a hip fracture is based on a thorough physical examination performed by Dr. Okoroha. Most often your physician can determine that you have sustained a hip fracture based on the abnormal position of your hip and leg and your symptoms. Your physician normally will order an X-ray to confirm the fracture and its position. If the X-ray fails to reveal the fracture, then an MRI or bone scan may be ordered to confirm the presence of a hairline fracture.

Preparation for ORIF Surgery

Since ORIF is often employed to treat severe fractures, it typically takes place as an emergency procedure. Prior to surgery, you may have:

  • A physical exam to inspect blood circulation and nerves affected by the fracture
  • X-ray, CT scan, or MRI scan to assess surrounding structures and broken bone
  • Blood tests
  • Depending on the type of fracture you have sustained, you may be given a tetanus shot if you are not up-to-date with your immunization
  • A discussion with an anesthesiologist to determine the type of anesthesia you may undergo
  • A discussion with Dr. Okoroha about the medications and supplements you are taking and the need to stop any
  • A discussion about the need to avoid food and drink past midnight the night prior to your surgery

Treatment for Hip Fractures

Open reduction and internal fixation is a procedure most commonly used to treat severe hip fractures.

The surgery is performed under sterile conditions in the operating room under general anesthesia.

  • After sterilizing the affected area, Dr. Okoroha will make a cut through the skin and muscle of the thigh.
  • Okoroha will locate the fracture by carefully sliding in between the muscles of the thigh.
  • Okoroha will put the fragments of your femur back into position (reduction).
  • Okoroha will secure the fragments of the femur to each other (fixation) by using metal plates, screws, wires, or pins.
  • For a fracture in the middle of your femur, Dr. Okoroha may utilize a specially designed metal rod that passes through the middle of the bone and screws into both ends of the bone.
  • Okoroha may also carry out any other repairs if required.
  • After securing the bone, Dr. Okoroha will close the incisions by suturing or staples and cover with sterile dressings.

Postoperative Care

Post procedure, you may notice significant pain and pain medication will be prescribed by your physician to keep you comfortable. You may need to take a blood thinner to prevent blood clots. To ensure that the surgery was successful, you will probably have X-rays done.

You will be given instructions on weight-bearing activities and posture management. You will be instructed about dressing and incision care. You will also be advised on diet and supplements high in vitamin D and calcium to promote bone healing. Physical therapy and an exercise regimen are suggested to restore muscle strength, flexibility, and range of motion.

Depending on your health condition and the extent of the injury, you may be able to go home the same day with scheduled follow-up appointments for monitoring progress and stitches or staples removal if required. Most people return to their normal activities within 4 to 6 months of the surgery.

Risks and Complications of Hip Fracture ORIF

As with any surgery, some of the potential risks and complications of open reduction and internal fixation of a hip fracture include:

  • Bleeding
  • Infection
  • Blood clots
  • Damage to nerves and blood vessels
  • Anesthetic complications
  • Hardware irritation
  • Fat embolism
  • Nonhealing of the fracture
  • Broken hardware

If you would like to have additional information on treatment of hip fractures or would like to learn more about hip fracture ORIF, please contact the office of Dr. Okoroha, Hip Arthroscopy Surgeon serving the communities of Minneapolis, St. Paul, Rochester, Eden Prairie, Minnetonka, Minnesota and beyond.