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No rest for the wounded: early ambulation after hip surgery accelerates recovery

updated

Tags: surgery, treatment

Three articles on PainSci cite Oldmeadow 2006: (1) Mobilize!(2) The Art of Rest(3) PF-ROM Exercises

PainSci notes on Oldmeadow 2006:

From the abstract: “Early mobilization after hip fracture surgery accelerates functional recovery and is associated with more discharges directly home and less to high-level care.”

original abstract Abstracts here may not perfectly match originals, for a variety of technical and practical reasons. Some abstacts are truncated for my purposes here, if they are particularly long-winded and unhelpful. I occasionally add clarifying notes. And I make some minor corrections.

BACKGROUND: Level 3 evidence-based guidelines recommend first walk after hip fracture surgery within 48 h. Early mobilization is resource and effort intensive and needs rigorous investigation to justify implementation. This study uses a prospective randomized method to investigate the effect of early ambulation (EA) after hip fracture surgery on patient and hospital outcomes.

METHODS: Sixty patients (41 women and 19 men; mean age 79.4 years) admitted between March 2004 through December 2004 to The Alfred Hospital, Melbourne, for surgical management of a hip fracture were studied. Randomization was either EA (first walk postoperative day 1 or 2) or delayed ambulation (DA) (first walk postoperative day 3 or 4). Functional levels on day 7 post-surgery, acute hospital length of stay and destination at discharge were compared.

RESULTS: At 1 week post-surgery, patients in the EA group walked further than those in the DA group (P = 0.03) and required less assistance to transfer (P = 0.009) and negotiate a step (P = 0.23). Patients in the EA group were more likely to be discharged directly home from the acute care than those in the DA group (26.3 compared with 2.4%) and less likely to need high-level care (36.8 compared with 56%). A failed early ambulation subgroup had significantly more postoperative cardiovascular instability and worse results for all outcome measures.

CONCLUSION: EA after hip fracture surgery accelerates functional recovery and is associated with more discharges directly home and less to high-level care.

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