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My 94 year old mother fell and was brought to the hospital.

She has had all the...
My 94 year old mother fell and was brought to the hospital. She has had all the x rays and texts Then the nurse told my sister her hip was fractured. She is on pain medicine which makes the pain better but before that it was excuriciating. She has fallen before and gotten bruised but never broken anything or needed to stay in the hospital. She has well treated glaucoma, some arthritis but not crippling or severe. She is basically in goood health but appropriately fragile. She walks slow but her balance is pretty good and outside her apartment she uses a walker.
She bounced back after her husband died in 2010. She eats well and exercises.
My grandmother had severe Osteoporosis but I do not think that my mother has had the issue.
Here are my questions:
1. I have read that hip fracture often portends death. What can you tell me about this and if true how much time we are likely to have
2. What should my sister ask the doctor about Mothers condition
3,What should she ask about treatment options and particularly if she needs surgury what should we know
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Answered in 5 minutes by:
3/15/2013
Dr. Rick, MD
Dr. Rick, MD, Board Certified MD
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 11,441
Experience: 20+ years as a doctor. Internal Medicine Internship in NYC
Verified
RickMD :

I am online and happy to help you with your question today.

RickMD :

Those are all excellent questions.

RickMD :

Let me go through them in order:

Customer:

Great

RickMD :

1. No. A broken hip in this day and age is not a death sentence. While it is true that a broken hip is a major issue when you are 24, let alone 94, it doesn't mean your days are numbered.

RickMD :

2. Your sister should ask the doctor if your mother is healthy enough to undergo the stress of hip repair/replacement and when the surgery could be done. Also it would be good to ask about post op recovery and care.

Customer:

How dangerous is the surgury?

RickMD :

3. As far as costs, medicare covers 80% of the costs so that will help.

RickMD :

Usually surgery is the best option.

Customer:

Is surgury usually the only option

RickMD :

It is more dangerous on a 94 year old then on you or me but, that being said, it is very successful on getting an elderly patient back up on their feet and moving around....and this is very important for her general health.

RickMD :

Has an orthopedic surgeon examined your mother yet?

RickMD :

Surgery is the only way to fix a broken hip, unless it is a very minor,non displaced fracture....and I very much doubt that is the case in a 94 year old woman.

Customer:

No she has not yet as far as I know been examined by a surgeon

RickMD :

Here is an excellent article from a highly reputable source that talks about hip fractures and their treatment in detail......even better then I could type since I use "hunt and peck" when typing :)

RickMD :

I would not go on the Nurses word as to what the xrays show....

Customer:

great thanks for the article

Customer:

Understood about the nurses word

RickMD :

If she has a hip fracture the doctor who examined her in the hospital will consult with an orthopedic surgeon, who will come to her bedside and examine her

RickMD :

My pleasure. Is there anything else I can do for you this evening?

Customer:

Yes just one more

RickMD :

ok

RickMD :

By the way, please give my best to your mother and wish her a speed recovery.....

Customer:

I keep reading that the likelyhood of death comes from 1.blood clots released in the fracture 2. Pneumonia from surgery

RickMD :

Yes. Those are very common reasons why patients your mothers age die after surgery like this. The doctors will give her medication and use special air bags that squeeze her legs to avoid blood clots. They will also get her out of bed as soon as possible to help to avoid pneumonia and clots...and give her antibiotic, breathing exercises etc.....

RickMD :

Both my grandmothers broke their hips, one was 87 and the other was 91 and they both lived years after the surgery.....

RickMD :

So, I'd not let her age alone keep her from surgery if that is indicated.

Customer:

wow thats helpful to hear

RickMD :

I understand how you are feeling.....it was tough for me as a MD to be there knowing all I know. I'm glad I did not have to make any decisions alone.

Customer:

Thanks so much

RickMD :

But we can only play with the card that life deals us....it seems like you are doing a very good job of getting as much info as you can.

RickMD :

My pleasure. Take care.

RickMD :

I hope this information was helpful for you. But I do work for tips so I want to make sure you are happy with me before rating me. If you have another question on this or a related issue feel free to fire away. And please let me know if the rating system gives you any troubles.

Thanks in advance,

Dr. Rick MD FACS

Dr. Rick, MD
Dr. Rick, MD, Board Certified MD
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 11,441
Experience: 20+ years as a doctor. Internal Medicine Internship in NYC
Verified
Dr. Rick, MD and 87 other Medical Specialists are ready to help you
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Hi,
I was just thinking about your Mom and wondering how she was doing. Did she require surgery for her hip? In any event, I hope she is healing fast.
Take care and let me know if there is anything else I can do to assist you.
Dr. Rick MD FACS
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Dr. Rick, MD
Dr. Rick, MD
Dr. Rick, MD, Board Certified MD
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 11,441
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Experience: 20+ years as a doctor. Internal Medicine Internship in NYC

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