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Improving Outcome of Rehab After Hip Fracture

Posted on: 03/15/2006
Adults are living longer and with that means more hip fractures. Surgery and rehab are the most common treatments for hip fracture. Results aren't always so good. In this study researchers try to find factors affecting outcome. The goal is to target these factors early for a better outcome later.

The authors report eight things that can make a difference in a patient's function after treatment for hip fracture. Four of those can be changed or modified. These modifiable factors are 1) shortness of breath, 2) decreased vision, 3) level of albumin in the blood, and 4) decreased folic acid level. Albumin and folic acid are related to diet and nutrition.

Four nonmodifiable factors included 1) function before the fracture, 2) mental status, 3) age, and 4) previous stroke with motor problems. Even though these can't be changed they can still be used to predict outcome. For example patients at increased risk because of age, mental status, or poor motor function can be monitored early and often. Preventing falls and other problems related to these factors may make a difference.

The authors suggest taking these eight factors into consideration when planning rehab for patients after surgery for hip fracture. Outcomes can be improved with changes in clinical and nutritional factors. Prevention can also be part of the plan.

Devora Lieberman, MD et al. Inpatient Rehabilitation Outcome After Hip Fracture Surgery in Elderly Patients: A Prospective Cohort Study of 946 Patients. In Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. February 206. Vol. 87. No. 2. Pp. 167-171.

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