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- Thu Jun 22, 2006 6:22 pm
Dear Doctor -
My husband's mother is 92 y/o. She suffers extensively from osteoporosis. Last month, she dropped to the floor while the aide was helping her back into bed in the assisted living facility. She had hip surgery on her broken hipbone.
After a month, she is still not able to do more than stand - no walking and no rehab. Her abdomen is swelling up although her bowels seem to be working fine.
We've heard that elderly persons who break a hip tend to die during the healing process. Can you please tell us what stages elderly persons go through and what causes these deaths? Are there symptoms we should be watching for?
| Theresa Jones, RN
- Tue Jun 27, 2006 6:00 am
Some of the most common complications of a hip fracture typically occur post-operatively. For example, Infection, pneumonia, and blood clots are frequently the cause of mortality. In the elderly population, the mortality rates are highest during the first year following the hip fracture. After that, according to studies, the rate of mortality seems to decline as a direct result or complication of the fracture itself. Many elderly may not return to the activity function of the pre-injury level. Is she being treated for the osteoporosis? Is there a reason rehab has not been initiated? Have there been any diagnostics, ie, abdominal films, completed to identify any abnormalities of the abdomen? Best wishes to her for an uneventful recovery.
Theresa Jones, RN