Hip Recovery at 88 years old?

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yelenots | 16:47 Mon 30th May 2011 | Body & Soul
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My mother fell this morning as has broken her hip. They are going to operate within 48 hours and I was just wondering if anyone out there has been in the same situation? I feel she may never recover from this.
Her mobility was very poor before this happened and she has only just got over having several mini strokes. I feel that this is just a 'step backwards' and I am so worried about her having such a big operation at her age...but there is no other alternative they have to relieve the pain.


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in my experience of being a nurse, sometimes it's the oldies who get over the op quicker (i think they must be made of sterner stuff), plus they have less expectations (for example, they don't expect to be able to do 5 mile hikes afterwards)
They will almost certainly just pin it. No big deal.....not a big operation and i agree with bednobs.
Thet will have her walking on a frame within about 48hours... if she has it fixed with a 'dynamic hip screw' rather than a replacement it will be 24 hours time as well for you to talk to the staff about improving her support and care package or setting one up if she hasn't got one.... She shhould have an OT home visit before discharge too and any necessary equipment should be in place...raised toilet seats, rails etc before she is allowed home...if they try to 'push her out' before this complain, argue and cajole make sure everything is as good as you can get it..then she should be better able to cope than she was before the accident
in my opinion, what will be important is her experience of "nursing care" (haha) at the hospital. She can maximise her chances of recovering quickly if she is well hydrated and well fed, gets good pain relief and good sleep, stays in hospital for as little time as poss, and dosen't get any infections.
if you are able to visit, there are some things you can do to help (which should be done by the nursing staff but hey ho)
get her to drink a lot (despite the fact it'll make her pee a lot - contrary to popular 88 year old belief this is a good thing)
make sure she is not malnourished (perhaps you could take in some things she likes)
get her to do deep breathing exercise and ankle exercises (ideally every hour while she's awake)
if she is on any regular medicines don't let them fiddle with them without good reason!
what bedknobs and rowan witch said. My experience (retired OT) of the seniors is that provided the bone density is enough to take the fixation and they eat and drink enough, they do very well indeed.
My mother is 87 and broke her hip. she was taken into hospital and operated on. she has Alzheimer's so she didn't know where she was, why she was there, or why she was in pain. Like you I wondered if it was worth doing in someone so old.

Three months later, she still can't walk, which makes me wonder why they did it, but apparently it would be much more painful if they left it untreated and she could have had complications.
My mum had hers done at 80 and made a good recovery - she is now 87.
For "more painful" read "bloody agony" If your mother can now move to a commode or chair with assistance but without much pain, she's in a better state than she would have been if untreated. I used to work on orthopaedic wards when the standard for frail elderly was not to operate on the fracture. The pain used to be such that they had to be more or less permanently sedated.
carolgif....that isn't good and i understand your sentiments entirely ...............has she had post operative check X-Rays to ascertain that the pin is in place(the right place)?
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Thank you for your replies. I have just returned from visiting and have been told she may have broken her leg further down and they are doing another xray tonight (they only did the pelvis earlier) I have to phone after 10pm for an update. She has been given morphine and seems very confused. It was only two months ago she suffered several TIA mini strokes and as a result had to go into permanent care. Like Carolgif the surgeon said they would only operate to relieve the pain. I have had all the possible complications of the operation explained to me and what could go wrong with her being so old and its scary :(
I will add you and your Mum to my prayers.
My Mum is now in a Nursing Home. She can put a little weight on it now, but still cannot walk. It doesn't help that she cannot understand what has happened.
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How very sad.....
I've just phoned hospital and the xray hasnt been done told me to ring in the morning -great!
yele, my mum had surgery for a broken pelvis in her eighties and she was fine, you just need to do as the others suggest, they mobilise very early these days. They wouldn't do the op if they were worried about the strokes or her heart.
Sorry to hear about your Mum.

She may have a plate and screws inserted (known as a Dynamic Hip Screw) or an Austin Moore's procedure, where they remove and replace the femoral head.

Both are standard ops, even for your Mums age, so try not to be too worried.
Ive seen both aspects, great recovery and a poor recovery, it depends a lot on the determination of the patient and the general health. We have had a few that will never walk again but that's generally because of their poor physical health often combined with dementia. We also see most of them come back and you cant get them to sit down for 5 minutes. Don't get your hopes too high but try to keep positive.

Good luck XXXXX
Ratter even those who don't walk again are usually in way less pain than if the fracture had been left unmended. Even hoisting or rolling is painful for them.
Woofgang, I think the repair is essential for any quality of life. Never heard of it not being done until I just read it here, the pain would be unbearable I would imagine.
I think I would say that nowadays "every effort" is made to repair the fracture. Modern vital sign monitoring and anaesthesia make it much safer. Yes, the alternative is strong and continuous pain relief.
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Thank you everyone....just have to see what today brings as I've just rung the hospital and she STILL hasnt had further xrays :(

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