Hip Fracture? Speed Is Important!

Did you know that over 340,000 older adults a year in the US fracture their hips?  And only about 1 in 5 of these patients return to their pre-injury level of function after this injury.

 

However, a new approach to treatment may improve the outcome and you can advocate for it for yourself or a loved one who is a victim.

 

Studies have shown that fast-tracking the surgical repair of a hip fracture makes a big difference in recovery. Speeding up the time it takes from the emergency room to the operating room and thus repairing a fracture in as little as six hours from admission produces dramatically superior recovery results.  This approach is often a far cry from typical hip fracture procedures where it is not uncommon to wait up to three days before surgery.

 

A study over 2 million patients conducted by NYU found that compared to same-day surgery, each additional delay was associated with significantly higher complications.  And surgery two days and three or more days after admission was associated with higher rates of death.

 

When surgery is delayed, patients are given heavy narcotics for pain which can lead to postoperative delirium and increased chances for Opiod Induced Constipation which in turn can lead to prolonged hospital stays and possible chance of intestinal complications and additional surgeries.  Generally speaking, the less time you spend in a hospital, the better off you will be!

 

Research your local hospitals to find out if any of them use enhanced fracture response procedures or are they treating these serious injuries as non-urgent cases and are unaware of the studies that show “waiting list” fracture surgeries can adversely impact recoveries and a return to normal function.  Do this now, before you need it!

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