Surgical Timing and Prognoses of Elderly Hip Fracture Patients

Surgical Timing and Prognoses of Elderly Hip Fracture Patients

Early surgery is essential following a hip fracture as it improves the outcomes for patients and it results in lower rates of mortality, length of hospital stay and postoperative complications, thereby reducing the burden on the healthcare system.

This study undertaken in China explored the association between the surgical timing and the prognoses in 701 elderly patients with hip fracture, dividing them in the early surgery group (surgery within 2 days of admission) and the delayed surgery group (surgery after 2 days of admission). The two groups were compared in terms of perioperative parameters, complications within 30 days after surgery, prognostic indicators and complications six months after surgery.

The results of the study showed that:

  • There was a significantly reduced postoperative hospital stay and incidence of complications (pulmonary infections, UTIs and DVT) within 30 days after surgery in the early surgery group compared to the delayed surgery group. 
  • At six months after surgery, although early surgery had no significant effect on patient mortality compared with delayed surgery, early surgery significantly reduced patient rehospitalisation rates.
  • There was no significant difference in the Harris Hip Scores between the two groups, indicating that surgical timing does not influence the short-term recovery of hip joint function after surgery. Quality of life in the delayed surgery group was significantly lower than that in the early surgery group at 30 days and 6 months after operation. 

These results reflect the findings in other regions of the world and further confirm the growing body of literature that early surgery, within 48 hours, is recommended for patients after a hip fracture improving outcomes for patients and reducing the burden on the system.

Read the study here.

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