For older people who fracture a hip, the prognosis is grim: a third or more die within a year and only about 1 in 5 return to their pre-injury level of function.
A new approach to care could mean it doesn't have to be that way.
More hospitals are putting hip fracture patients on a fast track from the emergency room to the operating room, repairing the fracture in as little as six hours after diagnosis. The approach appears to produce significantly better outcomes for patients than the conventional practice of waiting up to three days before operating on the fracture. It can also reduce the costs of complications and longer hospital stays.