Operating Soon After Hip Fractures May Save Lives

MONDAY Sept. 13, 2010 -- Elderly patients who have surgery soon after suffering a hip fracture reduce their risk of dying by 19 percent, a new analysis shows.

Hip fractures are associated with a death rate of 14 percent to 36 percent in the year following the fracture. Current guidelines recommend surgery within 24 hours of a hip fracture. However, some doctors believe delaying surgery helps decrease the risk of complications.

In this study, Canadian researchers reviewed 16 previous studies that included a total of 13,478 patients aged 60 and older. They found that surgery performed within 24 to 72 hours after a hip fracture reduces the risk of death and may lower the risk of postoperative pneumonia and pressure sores.

The findings were published Sept. 13 in the Canadian Medical Association Journal.

Further research is needed to learn more about the effects that early surgery has on elderly hip fracture patients, Dr. Mohit Bhandari, of McMaster University, and colleagues said in a news release from the publisher.

More information

The American Academy of Family Physicians has more about hip fractures.

Posted: September 2010


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