"These findings may be helpful when performing cost-effectiveness analyses of hip fracture prevention strategies or designing treatment strategies in patients with hip fracture," the researchers concluded.
The findings were published in the March 16 issue of Annals of Internal Medicine.
Strauss said that one key to surviving and recovering from a hip fracture is to have a good family or other support system when the person leaves the hospital.
"Most of these patients are discharged from hospitals before they can be optimized to the very best condition," he said. "Most Medicare patients stay in hospitals three days after [a] hip fracture, and three days is just not enough to get these patients back on their feet."
It takes time to fully heal, especially for people who are old and suffering from other medical conditions, Strauss said.
"These fractures are major assaults on people that are getting older," he said. "Their systems are not as efficient as they were, and they often don't have the ability to obtain the necessary support once the fracture has been treated."
"If the patient does not have a family unit, if the patient doesn't have finances to pay for a nurse or a homemaker or somebody to drive them to the doctor's office, somebody to help them shop -- the resources out there are minimal," he added. "Most patients get three to four hours of home health aid a day, and that's not enough."
For more on hip fractures, visit the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.
SOURCES: Elton Strauss, M.D., associate professor, chief of orthopedic trauma and adult reconstruction, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York City; March 16, 2010, <
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