Outcome of non-surgical treatment of proximal femur fractures in the fragile elderly population

Tal Frenkel Rutenberg, A. Assaly, M. Vitenberg, Shai Shemesh, Alon Burg, B. Haviv, Steven Velkes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: With the aging of the population the rate of fragility hip fractures increases. While medical recommendations are for hasten surgical treatment, for some older patients burdened with severe comorbidities, this might be risky. Aims: To compare the outcomes of patients treated non-surgically to those of the most fragile patients treated surgically. Patients and methods: A retrospective cohort study, of individuals aged ≥65 years who presented with fragility hip fractures between 01.01.2011-30.06.2016, to a primary trauma center. Patients treated surgically were stratified according to their age-adjusted Charlsons' comorbidity index (ACCI) score. Patients in the upper third of ACCI score, representing the more fragile population, were compared to patients treated non-surgically. Results: 847 patients presented with fragility fractures. 94 (11%) were treated non-surgically and 753 (89%) underwent surgery. Medical reasons were the leading cause for non-surgical treatment (61.7%). Surgically-treated patients were stratified according to their ACCI and 114 patients with ACCI > 9 were chosen for comparison. While both groups were comparable in terms of age, the non-surgical treatment group had more female patients (p. = 0.026) and a smaller proportion of independent walkers (p < 0.001). The ACCI was higher for the surgical treatment group (p < 0.001). In-hospital mortality was similar (14.9% and 18.1% for the operative and non-surgical groups respectively, P. = 0.575). However, one-year mortality was significantly higher for the non-surgical group (48.2% vs. 67.0%, P. = 0.005). The rates of in-hospital complications and 1-year readmissions were similar. Conclusions: Operative treatment for fragility hip fracture reduces long-term mortality rates even in the more fragile patients, compared to non-surgical treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1347-1352
Number of pages6
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Charlson's co-morbidity index
  • Femoral neck fracture
  • Fragility hip fracture
  • Non-operative treatment
  • One-year survival


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