New Guidelines to Prevent Future Fractures of Older Adult Patients with Hip Fracture

According to a recent article from Medical News Today, the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) Board of Directors authorized the Appropriate Use Criteria (AUC) for treatment and rehabilitation of older adult patients with hip fractures, as well as postoperative direction to facilitate in preventing the recurrence of fractures.

Hip fractures are very common among the older adult population and often occur because of falls or slips due to fragile bones.  These injuries create many debilitating problems and suffering due to pain.  Older adults who have had a hip fracture due to falls often experience decreased quality of life due to lower mobility function.  According to Robert Quinn, MD, AUC Section Leader for the AAOS Committee on Evidence-Based Quality and Value, physicians and patients are being provided with evidence-based assistance to find the most effective course of action for surgery and follow-up care.

The “Preoperative Checklist” was added to the AUC to facilitate surgeons and associated medical providers in providing quality care to patients by completing 12 critical initiatives.  They include limiting preoperative traction, managing Warfarin dosage (a blood-thinning medication), and communicating with the patient regarding home environment prior to discharge.

The “Appropriate Use Criteria for Postoperative Rehabilitation for Low Energy Hip Fractures in the Elderly” gives universal recommendations for recovery across older adult populations including:
-Interdisciplinary care to combat deep vein thrombosis

-Intervention to inhibit postoperative delirium
-Home care therapy after discharge

Osteroporosis assessment and management

A supplementary “Periooperative Prevention of Future Fractures Checklist” stresses crucial follow-up measures to diminish patients’ risk for future injuries.  The recommendations include engagement in a fall prevention program, and supplements and medications to enhance bone density.

Dr. Quinn emphasizes the importance of thinking ahead in order to provide the right care following a repaired fracture.  This not only facilitates patients’ recovery, but also helps prevent future fractures, which is a big issue.