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Nonoperative treatment of hip fractures


We retrospectively reviewed a population database and a case series to compare the mortality of operative and nonoperative treatment of hip fractures in patients with severe comorbidity. Nonoperative treatment of hip fractures (bed rest or early weight bearing) was administered based on medical assessment of perioperative risk. Comparison of 30-day mortality was performed between the nonoperatively and operatively treated groups. We found that of 50,235 of hip fractures that occurred between 1992 and 1998, 89.4% were treated operatively. Thirty-day mortality rate in the nonoperatively treated patients (18.8%) was higher than the rate in operatively treated patients (11.0%) (odds ratio 1.7 times, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.6, 1.8). In the case series, of 62 elderly patients with severe comorbidity treated nonoperatively, 41 had bed rest/traction, while 21 were mobilized early. A group of operatively treated patients (n=108) was compared to nonoperatively treated patients. Mortality with nonoperative treatment was higher with bed rest (73%) compared to early mobilization (odds ratio 3.8, 95% CI 1.1–14.0). There was no significant difference in mortality between operatively treated patients (29%) and patients treated nonoperatively with immediate mobilization (19%). Bed rest was 2.5 times more likely to be associated with mortality compared to operative treatment (95% CI 1.1–5.5).



Jain R, Basinski A, Kreder HJ. Int Orthop. 2003; 27(1):11-7. Epub 2002 Nov 12.

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