With more than 250,000 people in the United States suffering hip fractures each year, how can you improve your chances of a full recovery? In addition to the common physical therapy and rehabilitation for hip injuries, certain home exercise programs exist that can offer increased mobility and improved physical function.
A few facts about those recovering from hip fracture (via CDC):
- In 2010, there were 258,000 hospital admissions for hip fractures among people aged 65 and older.
- More than 95% of hip fractures are caused by falling, most often by falling sideways onto the hip.
- One out of five hip fracture patients dies within a year of their injury.
- Women sustain three-quarters of all hip fractures.
How Can You Improve Chances for Hip Recovery?
Nancy K. Latham, Ph.D., P.T., of Boston University, and colleagues randomized 232 functionally limited older adults who had completed traditional rehabilitation after a hip fracture to a home exercise hip rehabilitation program comprising functionally oriented exercises (such as standing from a chair, climbing a step) taught by a physical therapist and performed independently by the participants in their homes for 6 months (n = 120); or in-home and telephone-based cardiovascular nutrition education (n = 112).
Among the 232 randomized patients, 195 were followed up at 6 months and included in the primary analysis. The intervention group (n=100) showed improvement relative to the control group (n=95) in functional mobility on various measures. In addition, balance significantly improved in the intervention group compared with the control group at 6 months.
“The traditional approach to rehabilitation for hip fracture leaves many patients with long-term functional limitations that could be reduced with extended rehabilitation. However, it is unlikely that additional months of highly supervised rehabilitation can be provided to patients with hip fracture,” the authors write.
“Exercise programs are challenging for people to perform on their own without clear feedback about whether they are performing the exercises accurately and safely and without guidance as to how to change the exercises over time. The findings from our study suggest that [the approach used in this study] could be introduced to patients after completion of traditional physical therapy following hip fracture and may provide a more effective way for these patients to continue to exercise in their own homes. However, future research is needed to explore whether the interventions in this trial can be disseminated in a cost-effective manner in real clinical environments.”
Special Thanks to Medical News Today for their article “Home-based exercise program improves recovery following rehabilitation for hip fracture”