Timely Surgery Tied to Better Outcomes After Hip Fracture

Small study looked at death rates, major complications

MONDAY, Nov. 18, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- Having surgery as soon as possible after a hip fracture may reduce the risk of complications and death, a small new study suggests.

In many countries, hip fracture patients can wait 24 hours or longer before having surgery. This study included 60 patients, aged 45 and older, in Canada and India. Half of them had surgery within six hours of their hip fracture and half had surgery within 24 hours.

Death or major complications such as heart attack, stroke, pneumonia or major bleeds occurred in 47 percent of the patients who received surgery 24 hours after diagnosis, the investigators found. Among patients in the accelerated surgery group, the rate was 30 percent, they noted.

The findings are published in the Nov. 18 issue of CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal).

"We believe that the shortest time possible to treatment may provide the greatest potential for benefit, as is the case in acute heart attack and stroke," co-principal investigator Dr. P.J. Devereaux, said in a McMaster University news release. Devereaux is an associate professor of medicine and epidemiology at McMaster University's Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine, in Hamilton, Ontario.

Although the study found an association between shorter time from hip fracture to surgery and fewer complications, it did not prove a cause-and-effect relationship.

Hip fractures in seniors can lead to serious complications that may result in death or admission to long-term care facilities, the study authors noted in the news release.

More information

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more about hip fractures among older adults.

Published
Monday, November 18, 2013