My 80 year old mother just fell and broke her hip.  Her surgeon says that she has an A2 fracture and is planning on using a rod in her hip.  What does this mean and why does he need the rod?
Surgeons classify hip fractures from A1-A3 for reference of the direction and extent of a break. An A1 is a stable fracture that was a “clean break,” or one that there are no other fragments and the two bones are still aligned. An A3 break is one in which there are multiple fragments and the break is oblique and the bones are not aligned.  An A2 break is between the two of these and there is often question of whether to use a rod to fix this or external screws.  A recent article suggests that in 70 per cent of A2 breaks it is most cost effective to use an external screw versus a rod. That being said, this decision is left up to the surgeon and their decision is base on numerous factors so ultimately this is a question for them.