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Hip Fracture after Age 90

Posted on: 01/31/2003
The ability to keep walking as we get older is vital. This is especially true for adults over age 90 who fracture a hip. Immobility or bed rest can lead to a decline in mental function. Lung and urinary tract infections increase when older adults are on bed rest. These complications can be life-threatening.

For these reasons, aging adults with a hip fracture are treated ASAP (as soon as possible)! But how successful is this approach? Doctors in Japan tracked 60 patients with hip fractures who had surgery. They followed the patients' progress for at least one year and as long as four years.

They found that being able to walk is a very important factor in success of the operation. Patients who could walk after the operation lived longer. In other words, patients who are unable to walk after surgery for a hip fracture have a greater chance of dying.

Patients with dementia are also at risk. It's not that they forget how to walk. The authors of the study report that patients with severe dementia just don't respond to rehab afterwards. Patients without dementia regain the ability to walk more often than those with severe dementia.

Adults 90 years and older with hip fracture are helped by surgery. It should be done as soon as possible after the injury to avoid complications. Getting patients back up on their feet and walking is a key factor in the success of this operation.

Junicha Tanaka, MD, et al. Outcomes of Hip Fracture Surgery in Patients Aged > 90 Years. In Orthopedics. January 2003. Vol. 26. No. 1. Pp. 55-58.

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