Regional anesthesia reduces complications and death for hip fracture patients

June 20, 2012

In a study of more than 18,000 patients having surgery for hip fracture, researchers at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania found that the use of regional anesthesia versus general anesthesia, was associated with a significant reduction in major pulmonary complications and death. The new study will be published in the July issue of the journal Anesthesiology.

" is a common and costly event among ," said lead study author Mark D. Neuman, MD, assistant professor of Anesthesiology and Critical Care and senior fellow at the Leonard Davis Institute for . "One out of five hip fracture patients dies within a year of their injury. There is an urgent need for better information to guide patients and clinicians make decisions about anesthesia for hip fracture surgery, but so far very few large in the general population have examined this issue."

Hip fractures are a global public health problem, occurring 1.6 million times worldwide, and their incidence is anticipated to grow rapidly during the next three decades because of the aging of the population. Most hip fractures occur in people older than 65, with the mortality and morbidity compilations increasing rapidly after age 80. A hip fracture almost always requires surgical repair or replacement, followed by weeks to months of physical therapy.

Dr. Neuman and his co-authors examined a retrospective cohort of patients undergoing surgery for hip fracture in 126 hospitals in New York in 2007 and 2008, which included a total of 18,158 patients. They tested the association of regional (epidural, spinal or nerve block) versus with inpatient mortality, major inpatient pulmonary complications, and major inpatient .

Among patients undergoing hip fracture surgery, the researchers found a 29 percent lower adjusted odds of mortality among patients receiving regional versus general anesthesia. They also found a 24 percent decrease in the adjusted odds of any inpatient pulmonary complication with .

"These findings have important implications for practice, policy, and research related to the treatment of older adults with hip fracture," said Lee A. Fleisher, MD, chair and Robert Dunning Dripps Professor of Anesthesiology and Critical Care and the senior author of the study. "Given the high rate of mortality associated with hip fracture and the large and growing worldwide public health burden attributed to complications of hip fracture care, our findings highlight an important potential opportunity to improve outcomes among a growing population of vulnerable surgical patients."

Explore further: Undiagnosed neurological disorders may cause falls and hip fractures in the elderly

Related Stories

Hip fracture surgery type impacts future fracture risk

March 17, 2012

(HealthDay) -- Patients with a primary proximal femoral fracture who undergo closed reduction and percutaneous pinning have a significantly increased risk of subsequent contralateral hip fracture compared with those who undergo ...

Recommended for you

Zika virus infection alters human and viral RNA

October 20, 2016

Researchers at University of California San Diego School of Medicine have discovered that Zika virus infection leads to modifications of both viral and human genetic material. These modifications—chemical tags known as ...

Food-poisoning bacteria may be behind Crohn's disease

October 19, 2016

People who retain a particular bacterium in their gut after a bout of food poisoning may be at an increased risk of developing Crohn's disease later in life, according to a new study led by researchers at McMaster University.

Neurodevelopmental model of Zika may provide rapid answers

October 19, 2016

A newly published study from researchers working in collaboration with the Regenerative Bioscience Center at the University of Georgia demonstrates fetal death and brain damage in early chick embryos similar to microcephaly—a ...

Scientists uncover new facets of Zika-related birth defects

October 17, 2016

In a study that could one day help eliminate the tragic birth defects caused by Zika virus, scientists from the Florida campus of The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) have elucidated how the virus attacks the brains of newborns, ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.