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Full Functionality After Hip Fracture Takes Two to Three Years

Older adults with large social networks experience better recovery

hip bones model

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 3, 2021 (HealthDay News) -- Hip fracture survivors experience notable declines in function and well-being in the first year after a hip fracture compared with peers without fracture, according to a study published in the January issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.

Jay Swayambunathan, from the National Institute for Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases in Bethesda, Maryland, and colleagues used data from the National Health and Aging Trends Study to identify older adults (≥65 years) who were driving and mobile.

The researchers found that hip fracture patients reported a notable decrease in driving frequency and mobility in the first year after fracture. In that first year, hip fracture patients were less likely to drive (76 percent versus 95 percent in a matched control group), less likely to leave the house (86 versus 99 percent), less likely to work and volunteer (17 versus 44 percent), and more likely to feel depressed on most days (20 versus 10 percent). However, within two years, measures of mobility and activities among hip fracture survivors returned to peer-group levels. Improved outcomes were associated with a larger social network.

"These data aid surgeons in counseling families and patients after hip fracture," the authors write.

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