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Hip Fracture – Hip Replacement and rehabilitation

Had a hip fracture ever? Or have a kin with hip fracture? Then you may get some valuable insight after reading this.

Each year, more than 350,000 Americans experience a hip fracture. Hip fracture is a very serious injury that can lead to loss of mobility and independence. Ninety percent of patients of this fracture are over age 65, and 20 percent of them will spend the rest of their days in a nursing home.

Most people who receive hip fracture surgery eventually regain most or all of their former mobility and independence. Successful recovery depends on the type and severity of the fracture, the patient’s general health—and most importantly, on how well the patient complies with the prescribed recovery program.

If you suffer from a hip fracture, you must know that the treatment for hip fracture almost always begins with surgery. The options for surgery include, either a partial or total hip replacement, or repair using a metal plate or screws.

The surgery is followed by lengthy process of rehabilitation. In days past, extended post-surgical bed rest was recommended. But nowadays it is known that beginning active rehabilitation right away yields the best outcome. On the patient’s part, it is vital to follow the healthcare provider’s instructions, as certain movements and activities can cause dislocation of the prosthetic hip or repair before healing.

After surgery, patients usually remain in the hospital for about a week. Many then move to a nursing home or rehabilitation facility as they regain their ability to walk. Some patients are discharged directly home, continuing rehabilitation through outpatient treatment. In a recent study on hip fracture recovery, it was said that, “Programs aimed at helping older patients recover successfully at home instead of in an institutional setting could greatly improve their health outcomes and reduce total healthcare costs.”

Whether patients are discharged directly home from the hospital or from an intermediate care setting, they most likely will require help with their ongoing rehabilitation and the activities of daily living. Many services can be provided after the patient comes home.

Physical therapy can be provided either at home or on an outpatient basis. It helps you learn to walk safely, regain muscle strength and control pain.

Occupational therapists help patients learn to perform personal care tasks safely. They also instruct you how to use assistive devices such as a walker, cane, long-handled kitchen implements and dressing aids.

Home modifications are advised for adding safety and convenience for the recovering patient. These might include grab bars and an elevated toilet seat in the bathroom; stair railings; improved lighting; rearranging the kitchen; and sometimes modifying the home for single-story living.

Skilled nursing services, such as wound care and medication administration, are needed at home.

In-home companion care is very less costly than skilled nursing. This can be an effective choice to support successful recovery in economically weak people. Trained in-home caregivers provide various services.

These care givers support for the patient’s home rehabilitation. The patient is advised to have a set of exercises and other rehabilitation tasks to perform at home. Following this prescribed program is the key for regaining mobility and independence! Yet a few patients may be fearful of falling or experiencing discomfort. In-home caregivers provide the supervision and encouragement required by the patient.

In-home caregivers help patients with dressing, grooming, going to the bathroom, transferring from chair to bed or wheelchair, and other routine tasks that can be challenging during the recovery period.

Many simple household chores seem very difficult during the recovery period. Lifting, bending and leaning may be forbidden as the prosthesis or repair heals. The caregiver can keep the house clean, and be alert for clutter and other hazards that might cause a fall.

Driving is also usually off-limits for several weeks or months after hip fracture surgery. However, most patients will have regular outpatient rehabilitation appointments. The in-home caregiver can transport the patient to these appointments and to the pharmacy to pick up prescriptions. Getting out and having fresh air helps to ward off depression and isolation for the patient.

This is very delicate period and you need to be careful, but following doctor’s advice and regular exercises as prescribed can make you self-sufficient again!

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