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Hip Fracture? Consider a Home Physical Therapy Program

Posted on: 11/30/1999
The risk of hip fractures and problems that go along with fractures increases with age. It isnít always easy to get back to normal function and quality of life after a hip fracture. Physical therapists in Taiwan studied the use of an extended rehab program to regain function after hip fracture.

They compared two groups of older adults with hip fractures. The first group had home-based physical therapy. The therapist went to the patient's home eight times over a period of 12 weeks. Exercises included muscle strengthening and range of motion. Balance training and improving function were also part of the program.

The second (control) group went home from the hospital with exercises given at the time of discharge. All patients in both groups were examined four times after discharge up until six months later.

Researchers doing this study report the home-based group did improve significantly. They had better psychologic and physical function than the control group. Their recovery was faster and occurred between one and three months. The control group gained recovery between three and six months.

They concluded that a home-based physical therapy program gives earlier recovery and function after hip fracture. These findings should be looked at carefully by patients' families, health care providers, and insurance companies.

Jau-Yih Tsauo, PhD, PT, et al. Effects on Function and Quality of Life of Postoperative Home-Based Physical Therapy for Patients with Hip Fracture. In Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. October 2005. Vol. 86. No. 10. Pp. 1953-1957.

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