Evaluation of the functional outcome for hip fractured elderly patients has been controversial due to a typical casemix containing both weight bearing and non weight bearing postoperative fractures. The purpose of this study was to investigate factors associated with rehabilitation outcomes in patients who are able to fully weight bearing following surgical repair of femoral neck fracture. We studied 217 consecutive patients admitted for rehabilitation after surgery for hip fracture. Age, gender, marital status, type of fracture and admission Functional Independence Measure (FIM) were evaluated as possible predictors of rehabilitation outcome. Functional gains were evaluated according to FIM. Dependent outcome variables were calculated as absolute (total FIM gain and daily FIM gain) as well as relative (to potential). Results showed a significant improvement in absolute total and daily FIM gains (19.32 ± 8.29, and 0.87 ± 0.44, respectively). Relative total functional gain was 0.40 ± 0.19. Absolute total functional gain did not depend on FIM admission, whereas all other parameters were significantly correlated with FIM scores on admission, indicating a relatively adverse rehabilitation in patients with an admission FIM of 40 points or lower. The majority (83.9%) of patients were discharged home. A significant association exists between the ability to go home and marital status (P = 0.009), as well as with admission FIM (P < 0.0001). We conclude that encouraging outcome results are achieved in the elderly with full weight bearing fractures. The absolute functional gains do not depend on FIM admission scores and argues for inclusion of patients with low admission FIM scores to rehabilitation programs. However, the relative gains are significantly better in patients with higher admission FIM scores, thus supporting inclusion of selected patients. This poses serious ethical issues for healthcare policy-makers.
- Hip fracture