Hip fractures need not be a death sentence

About 2 million elderly patients break their hips each year and only a quarter of them fully recover.
Hip fractures need not be a death sentence
Ti Gong

A medical alliance focusing on the treatment of elderly peoples' hip fractures in the Yangtze River Delta region was established  in the city on Friday.

A Yangtze River Delta medical alliance focusing on the treatment of elderly peoples' hip fracture was established in the city on Friday with 56 medical facilities participating.

There are 249 million people over 60 in China. By 2050, there will be 487 million, 35 percent of the population.

Hip fractures are an important public health problem. About 1.8 to 2 million elderly patients break their hips each year, a 16 to 20 percent incidence.

Currently, only 25 percent of patients fully recover, while the majority need care and support in walking. About a quarter of patients over 50 years old die within a year. The five-year survival for those not undergoing surgery is only 30 percent.

“Receiving surgery in time can improve elderly patients’ quality of life and reduce mortality,” said Dr Zhang Changqing, vice president of Shanghai No.6 People’s Hospital, leader of the alliance. “Prevention, early diagnosis, early surgery and rehabilitation are the hot topics in the orthopedics field.”

Shanghai No.6 was the first hospital in the nation to set up a green channel for elderly with hip fractures in 2013. So far, the hospital has performed over 1,000 surgeries and most patients can stand and walk only days after the procedure.

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