Hiking after breaking hip


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New member
Jul 25, 2016
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Longmeadow MA
Does anyone have any experience recovering from and hiking regularly after breaking a hip? I broke my left hip two weeks ago today, Father’s Day. On the next day surgery included putting in what the call a gamma nail, which consists of a rod down the femur and a couple of screws. It’s the same leg where I had an artificial knee put in five years ago. The knee was a long term need after fracturing patella rough housing in high school gym fifty years ago whereas the hip was from a fall while hiking.
Prior to the hip break I had been hiking an average of five miles a day since the middle of March 2020 and had only missed about a half a dozen days. Admittedly this was mostly in the forests and hills of Norther CT and Western MA. My most rugged hikes during this time would have been the Seven Sisters in the Holyoke range and Mt Crawford up in Crawford Notch.
I came home from rehab Thursday and expect to meet with the physical therapist for home based therapy. Surgeon and PT at rehab have told me I should be able to recover and hike as before yet I don’t know if they are as familiar with what I doing as some of you might be.
I need to manage my expectations so I don’t become discouraged if I cannot do what I have been doing. Thanks for any input offered.


Well-known member
Jan 12, 2005
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Bedford, MA; Avatar: eggs anyone?
I broke my hip (femoral neck) and femur (spiral fracture just above the knee) in a BC skiing accident fifteen years ago. Repair was two screws in the hip and a nail (placed from the knee end) in the femur. I was healing and rehabbing well until the screws securing the nail self-extruded (came out) at ~three weeks and the nail had to be replaced which significantly slowed my rehab. It was 10 or 11 weeks before I was cleared to put weight on the leg (due to the hip fracture) and I was able to do some easy level-ground XC skiing almost exactly a year later. (The 10--11 weeks was determined by the hip fracture.)

You may return to full functionality faster than I did if your nail doesn't fail...

Long term, my leg was shortened by 1.5cm and twisted ~20 deg inward and I have lost a bit of knee flexibility. It has taken a long time to get used to the changes, but I now walk a bit differently and my balance is sometimes a problem (mostly due to the twist). Other than that, I mostly don't notice it anymore. I can still hike and ski, although not quite as far as I used to. (The slowdown is likely due to other factors.)

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