A broken hip is one of the most common injuries among elderly people. In fact, over 300,000 Americans are hospitalized each year as a result of hip related injuries associated with falling down. The broken hip recovery process is long and delicate and requires special attention from both the injured person as well as any caregivers who may be providing assistance in the broken hip recovery process. According to medical studies, individuals suffering from a fractured hip are at a high risk for re-injury during the first two years.
Hip fractures in elderly patients will almost always be treated with surgery. If the fracture is mild enough that the person doesn’t need surgery, it means there aren’t any bone alignment issues and the doctor feels there are no reasons why the bones won’t heal properly on their own. Those suffering from this type of hip fracture should avoid rigorous activity and movements that strain the lower body.
However, for those who have to get surgery to heal, the broken hip recovery process is much more tedious. For the first several weeks, it is absolutely paramount that patients use walkers or crutches to get around the house. Even then, movement should be limited to activities that are absolutely necessary. Caregivers should encourage patients to rest the hip as often as possible.
It is easy to overlook how often a person moves their hip. Practically every movement calls this area of the body into action, such as reaching over to grab the remote off the table or picking something up that was dropped on the floor. Purchasing a grabber is a great way to reduce movement and the chance of injury.
For the first couple of weeks of the broken hip recovery period, patients should wear an apron or some other piece of clothing that helps to keep their hands free. One of the main reasons elderly patients fall and re-injure themselves is because occupied hands keep them from being able to grab onto a wall or other surface.
Physical therapy is an extremely important step during broken hip recovery. Old methods of moving and bending may not be possible after a hip has received surgery. Physical therapy will teach elderly patients how to avoid further injury with the proper exercises and movements.
If the hip cannot be fixed but is instead replaced completely, this will also alter the broken hip recovery process and the ways in which individuals should avoid further injury. According to the National Institutes for Health, hip dislocation is one of the most frequent complications associated with hip replacements. This is because the artificial ball and socket used in the surgery are smaller, making it easier to dislocate if the hip performs movements outside its range of motion. One move that should be avoided is pulling the knees toward the chest.
While there certainly is a risk for inflammation and dislocation, studies show that technological advances have made the need for hip revisions significantly less than they were in the earlier years of hip replacement surgery. Statistics show that only 90 percent of hip replacement patients require additional surgery. Nevertheless, the necessary precautions should be taken during any broken hip recovery process to decrease chances of re-injury as much as possible.