Hip fractures are a concerning health issue among the elderly population. Understanding the risks, treatments, and recovery options for such injuries becomes paramount as our loved ones age. This blog delves into the most common types of hip fractures in seniors, explores treatment options, and discusses post-recovery lifestyles.
The Prevalence of Hip Fractures in the Elderly
The susceptibility to fractures increases with age due to decreased bone density and an increased risk of falls. But what is the most common type of hip fracture among seniors?
Femoral Neck Fracture tops the list. This fracture occurs just below the ball of the ball-and-socket hip joint. Another frequent contender is the intertrochanteric fracture, which takes place a bit farther down the hip, in the portion of the upper femur that projects outward
Can hip fractures in the elderly heal without surgery?
A common question many families grapple with is the need for surgery. Can a hip fracture heal without an operation? In most cases, especially for the elderly, surgery is the recommended course of action.
A study by the Singapore Medical Journal 2017 compared the clinical outcomes of elderly hip fracture patients who received surgical treatment with those who received non-surgical treatment. The study involved 2,756 elderly patients with hip fractures admitted over six years. Among the 2,756 hip fracture patients, 2,029 (73.6%) underwent surgical intervention, while 727 (26.4%) opted for non-surgical intervention. The complication rate among the patients who underwent surgical intervention was 6.6%, while that among the patients who underwent non-surgical intervention was 12.5% (p < 0.01). The mean length of hospital stay for the surgical and non-surgical hip fracture patients was 15.7 days and 22.4 days, respectively (p < 0.01). The study concluded that surgical management of hip fractures among the elderly is associated with a lower complication rate and a reduced length of hospital stay.
The surgical approach helps stabilise the bone, speed the healing process, and enable early mobility. Although non-surgical treatments like bed rest and traction exist, they come with challenges, including bed sores and the risk of deep vein thrombosis. However, there might be cases where you choose a non-surgical approach. It is best to seek an evaluation with a trusted orthopaedics doctor in Singapore, so you know what to do.
Treating Hip Fractures
So, what does treatment typically involve? Surgery is the most common route, and the type of hip treatment procedure depends on the fracture’s specifics:
- Internal Fixation: Hardware (like screws) holds the fractured bone in place during healing.
- Partial Hip Replacement (Hemiarthroplasty): Only the femoral head is replaced with a prosthetic part.
- Total Hip Replacement (Arthroplasty): The femoral head and the pelvic bone socket are replaced.
- After surgery, physical therapy becomes an elderly individual’s best friend. It is instrumental in restoring mobility and strength. Effective pain management is also key to a comfortable recovery, achieved through medications and other therapeutic methods.
Can the elderly live alone after a hip fracture?
Post-recovery, families’ most pressing concern is whether their elderly loved ones can resume living independently. While the answer varies depending on individual circumstances, many seniors need assistance temporarily after a hip fracture. Whether it’s home health assistance or a stint in a rehabilitation facility, ensuring safety and proper care is vital.
In conclusion, while hip fractures in the elderly can be daunting, understanding the journey from diagnosis to recovery can prepare families to make informed decisions for their loved ones. Always consult with a medical professional about the best course of action, and remember that with the right care and support, recovery is not just possible; it’s probable. For your convenience we provide all treatment options at Hip and Knee Orthopaeducs Singapore. Contact us right away and get special consultation for your dear ones.