I never imagined that I would experience a hip fracture at the age of 43.

Written by: Amber Dittmar

I never imagined that I would experience a hip fracture at the age of 43. This is just what happened after a traumatic fall at work on April 2, 2019. At approximately, 11:30 I fell four feet off a stage at the school where I teach. I landed with the brunt of the force on my right hip. The surface on which I fell was a concrete floor.

My colleagues helped me to the clinic in our school and I called my husband, Ben to pick me up to seek medical attention. I knew I did not want to go the emergency room route. I didn’t want to wait for hours to be taken for tests and evaluations. Dr. Gasparine had treated my son for a previous fracture and I was familiar with Sports Medicine in Zanesville and their walk-in clinic. My husband called Zanesville Sports Medicine while enroute to their Zanesville location. We were met at the door by Dr. Gasparine and his nurse with a wheel chair. Dr. Gasparine quickly assessed the situation and within 10 minutes I was in the x-ray room. The x-ray technicians were amazing with their level of care and professionalism. It was very painful to be manipulated for the x-rays, but they succeeded in detailed films with minimal pain involved.

Dr. Gasparine determined my hip was fractured and not displaced or compacted. He indicated that surgery was needed and the sooner it was accomplished, the better. The longer I waited the greater the chance of further damage. Fortunately, Dr. Pulley is on staff at Orthopaedic Associates the parent organization of Zanesville Sports Medicine. Dr. Pulley specializes in hips. He was consulted and available for surgery that afternoon. I was in the operating room by 2:30. Dr. Pulley was professional and very skilled. He was able to repair the damage and a minimal incision area. I was discharged post surgically the same day with no complications.

The same great level of care was achieved through my follow-up appointments and physical therapy at Orthopaedic Associates. The medical assistants were courtesy and professional when scheduling appointments and there was minimal wait time to see Dr. Pulley. Jeremy was in charge of my physical therapy and he was very cognizant of my desire to be as good as new post surgery. He scheduled appointments and exercises that quickly and conveniently allowed me to get back to my teaching job within three weeks. They also continued therapy for the full eight weeks and worked around my teaching schedule.

I would recommend Dr. Gasparine at Zanesville Sports Medicine and Dr. Pulley at Orthopaedic and Associates or any of their colleagues for those injuries that are unforeseen like mine or those chronic conditions that need their expertise. They are the most qualified and organized in the area. My goal was to function as if my broken hip never happened and they helped me achieve this goal.

Doctor's Notes

Amber had a bad fall onto her hip and came directly to OAZ after the incident and was seen in our walk-in orthopaedic urgent care at 2:02 PM. X-rays were obtained and revealed a type of hip fracture called a femoral neck fracture. Fortunately, at the time that we saw her, the fracture was very minimally displaced (ie. not out of alignment). If a femoral neck fracture displaces (ie. moves to a position of malignment), there can be a significant risk of damage of the blood supply to the hip joint which can ultimately result in death of the bone of the hip. We recommended urgent surgical stabilization of her femoral neck fracture in order to eliminate the risk of displacement of the fracture.

We arranged a direct transfer from OAZ to preoperative holding at Genesis Hospital and her femoral neck was repaired with screws by 4:23 PM. She went home after surgery and ended up healing the fracture uneventfully and without and complications or limitations.

Overall, this case is a perfect example of how the OAZ orthopaedic trauma team can help to streamline care for patients with broken bones. Amber was able to have her hip fracture repaired surgically without requiring a costly emergency department visit and hospital admission.

As a reminder, there are several different ways to get OAZ involved in your orthopaedic trauma care. For injuries that do not require ambulance transport, we have a walk-in orthopaedic urgent care Monday through Friday in our main office building. For after-hours injuries, or injuries on weekends, we recommend that you call our main office number, where we have providers on-call 24/7 to help give advice and streamline your care. Our providers are on staff at all of the local hospitals, so if you are already in the emergency department, simply ask for OAZ!

Benjamin R. Pulley, M.D.