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Hip fracture recovery aided by home based physical therapy

New research in the United States has suggested patients recovering from hip surgery can benefit by following up their procedure with a home-based exercise program to further improve their recovery.  The research was carried out by Nancy K. Latham of Boston University in Massachusetts, who has said that 2 years after a hip fracture, around 39% of women and over 50% of men have either passed away or are living in a long-term care facility.

Ms Latham said “Many of these patients are no longer able to independently complete basic functional tasks that they could perform prior to the fracture, such as walking one block or climbing five steps 2 years after a fracture.” The research team carried out a study of 232 patients who had suffered a hip fracture and undergone standard rehabilitation. The patients were place into two groups. The first group comprised of 120 patients who completed a home exercise hip rehabilitation program.

This included exercises like standing on a chair and climbing a step. With the help of a therapist patients were required to carry out the program in their homes for 6 months.The other group contained 112 patients who received in-home and telephone-based cardiovascular nutrition training for the same amount of time. The physical function of 195 patients was assessed at 6 months after the study baseline and again at 9 months. Of these patients, 100 were in the group that carried out the home exercise program, while 95 were in the nutrition education group.

The American researchers found that the patients who carried out the home exercise rehabilitation program displayed much higher rates of improvement in physical function and balance when compared to the other test group. Speaking about their findings the researchers said that “The traditional approach to rehabilitation for hip fracture leaves many patients with long-term functional limitations that could be reduced with extended rehabilitation.”


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