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Author:

Carmen Abbott, MA, PT

School of Health Professions, University of Missouri-Columbia

Falls and Hip Fractures

Post-Fall Morbidity


One year after a hip fracture, only approximately 40% of surviving patients regain their previous level of mobility and only approximately 25% regain their former functional status (Koot VC, 2000). Probably a net deconditioning effect occurs during the recuperative period due to patients being less active while recovering, and this deconditioning contributes to the poor functional outcomes of patients after hip fracture (Convertino VA, 1997; Magaziner J, 2003; Mangione KK, 2005).

Falls can cause people to lose confidence in their ability to function safely and this loss of confidence can result in a fear of further falls (Legters K, 2002). Consequently, half of the people who have fallen admit to restricting activities subsequently, which leads to periods of immobility. Decreased activity level in turn leads to physical complications similar to the aging process itself, e.g., muscle weakness, osteoporosis, and more fall risk. Fall survivors experience a greater functional decline in activities of daily living (ADLs), physical, and social activities and have a greater risk of subsequent institutionalization (Tinetti ME, 2003).


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Last Update: Dec 3 2012