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Feature Article

Getting patients back on their feet after a hip fracture

Kareeann SF Khow, Clare McNally, Pazhvoor Shibu, Solomon CY Yu, Renuka Visvanathan, Mellick J Chehade

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Abstract

Hip fracture is a potentially devastating condition for older people. Although the initial treatment is surgical repair of the fracture, a long-term multidisciplinary management approach involving the patient’s GP is required to maximise recovery and ensure secondary prevention strategies are implemented.

Key Points

  • Over 90% of patients who sustain a hip fracture are older than 65 years and many have multiple coexisting medical conditions.
  • After initial surgical repair of a hip fracture, a long-term multidisciplinary management approach involving GPs is required to maximise patient recovery.
  • At each follow-up opportunity after hip fracture, GPs should assess the patient’s functional recovery.
  • Secondary fracture prevention, including falls prevention, management of osteoporosis, sarcopenia and frailty, is an integral part of long-term care.
  • Acute or chronic hip pain after surgery must be addressed, and ongoing exercise is important to improving long-term functional outcomes.
  • An orthopaedic surgeon’s assessment should be sought urgently if a prosthetic hip joint infection is suspected, and antibiotics should not be commenced before orthopaedic consultation.

    Picture credit: © John Bavosi/SPL

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