Question:My 92-year old aunt fell and broke her hip. She had surgery to repair the fracture. She's doing much better than anyone expected. Her sister died much earlier at age 72 from the same problem. What makes the difference?
Researchers are trying to find factors that are linked to good or poor recovery. The plan is to avoid or prevent those factors that put patients at risk for a poor recovery.
A recent study of patients 90 years old or older with hip fracture showed better results for those without dementia and without spinal fractures. We don't know how to prevent dementia yet. Loss of bone density is possible. Osteoporosis prevention begins with diet and exercise early in life.
Exercise and getting the right amount of vitamin D and calcium remain important for men and women of all ages. When you compare your aunt and her sister, do you see any differences in their lifestyles? Consider smoking history, exercise levels, presence of dementia, and history of osteoporosis.Yoichiro Ishida, MD, PhD, et al. Factors Affecting Ambulatory Status and Survival of Patients 90 Years and Older with Hip Fractures. In Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research. July 2005. Vol. 436. Pp. 208-215.
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