Simultaneous distal radius and hip fractures in elderly patients - Implications to rehabilitation

S. Shabat*, R. Gepstein, G. Mann, A. Stern, M. Nyska

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: The reasons for fractures in the elderly patients are multifactorial. Osteoporosis is considered to be the main pathology. Other reasons are the increase in fall frequency and the protective response to trauma. The most common sites at which these fractures occur are the hip, vertebra and distal radius. A combination of these is uncommon. Methods: All patients who were treated between January 1990 and December 2000 with a combination of distal radius and hip fractures and were older than 65-years were retrospectively evaluated. The following parameters were evaluated: age; sex; pre fall function; use of drugs; chronic and acute comorbidity; circumstance of the fall; hospitalization length of stay; treatment procedure; complications; and post-hospitalization rehabilitation. Results: Forty-six patients met the study's criteria. Group I consisted of 16 patients between 65-80 years, and group II consisted of the remaining 30 patients older than 80 years. All patients suffered low energy trauma. Ten out of the 16 patients in group I, and eight out of the 30 patients in group II were totally independent, while the remaining patients needed some help with activity of daily living (ADL). In all patients the simultaneous fractures were ipsilaterally. For 45 patients hospital stay ranged from 5-23 days. Twenty-eight patients were transferred to a geriatric rehabilitation centre. Twenty-six of them returned to their previous ADL after a period of 60 days on average. Among the 18 remaining patients, 11 gained full recovery (6 from group I and 5 from group II) and seven patients (5 from group II) had a slight reduction in ADL. Conclusions: A combination of these fractures is probably more traumatic and occurs in the higher-age group. It is always located in the ipsilateral side. The double trauma represents a better pre-morbid condition relative to patients in the same age group, and thus it may serve as a prognostic indicator for success in rehabilitation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)823-826
Number of pages4
JournalDisability and Rehabilitation
Issue number15
StatePublished - 5 Aug 2003


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