Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine

Hip FAQ

Question:

My husband fell playing tennis at age 90 and broke his hip. He was always so proud he could still play. Despite his good mobility before the fracture, they are saying he probably won't walk alone again. What do they base these absurd predictions on? How do they know what he will or won't do?

Answer:

Studies show that advanced age is a predictor of poor function after hip fracture. Although it is entirely possible that your husband will regain independent mobility, only two per cent of the population aged 90 and older are able to return to their prefracture level of independence. Many older adults end up using a walker but are able to gradually progress in their rehab program to use two canes. Eventually, it may be possible to eliminate one cane and just walk with one assistive aid (or none at all). The fact that your husband was still playing tennis suggests good health and good mobility. Both of these factors are in his favor in terms of recovery and rehab. If all goes well, he may very well be among the two per cent who regains his previous level of independence and function. G. Holt, MBChB, MRCS, et al. Outcome After Surgery for the Treatment of Hip Fracture in the Extremely Elderly. In Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery. September 2008. Vol. 90. No. 9. Pp. 1899-1905.

*Disclaimer:* The information contained herein is compiled from a variety of sources. It may not be complete or timely. It does not cover all diseases, physical conditions, ailments or treatments. The information should NOT be used in place of visit with your healthcare provider, nor should you disregard the advice of your health care provider because of any information you read in this topic.
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