Outcome of medically unstable elderly patients admitted to a geriatric ward after hip fracture

Y. Beloosesky*, D. Hendel, A. Hershkovitz, G. Skribnic, J. Grinblat

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Outcome of surgical treatment is superior to that of conservative treatment for hip fractures. Nevertheless, for a number of patients, the operation is either delayed or unfit due to their unstable medical conditions. We retrospectively reviewed patients admitted to a geriatric ward after hip fracture, and investigated complications, functional outcome and survival in different cognitive, pre-fracture functional and treatment groups. Patients hospitalized (N=78) from January 1993 to June 1999 were included (1/2 demented, 1/3 fully dependent in Basic Activities of Daily Living, and 2/5 high operative risk patients). Following stabilization, 14 subjects (17.9%) were operated. The mean and range of surgical delay was 9 ± 7.2, and 3 to 30 days, respectively. Comparison between surgical and conservative treatment groups, and cognitive and pre-fracture functional groups showed no differences in age, gender, chronic medical conditions, fracture type, reasons for surgical delay or conservative approach, complications, survival curves and laboratory results. Thirteen operated patients were in ASA I + II grades, only 1 in ASA grades III + IV (low and high operative risk, American Society of Anesthesiologists grading system) (p = 0.004). Functional outcome was similar in the surgical vs the conservative group, and intracapsular vs extracapsular fractures. ASA I + II patients had a higher survival rate compared to ASA III + IV patients (p = 0.02). We conclude that after stabilization of acute medical conditions, the most important preoperative consideration is the anesthetic risk, and surgical and conservative approaches may be equally considered in selected groups of elderly, frail patients with hip fracture who are medically unstable for more than a few days.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)78-84
Number of pages7
JournalAging clinical and experimental research
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2001


  • Elderly
  • Geriatric ward
  • Hip fracture
  • Surgical/conservative treatment


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