More than 300,000 people in the United States suffer hip fractures every year, most of them over the age of 65. A hip fracture occurs when the upper quarter of the femur suffers a break. These injuries can have serious long-term consequences, greatly limiting mobility and causing severe pain to the hip and groin area. Hip fractures can also lead to other health complications that can be life-threatening, such as blood clots, urinary tract infections, and loss of muscle mass. With Americans living longer than ever before, the number of hip fractures is expected to increase in the coming years, exceeding 500,000 incidences per year by 2040.
Surgery is the most effective method for addressing this injury, but the procedure itself is quite expensive. The American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons places the average cost of hip fracture surgery at nearly $27,000. Complicated fractures can be even more expensive. Given those high costs, people sometimes consider non-surgical treatments like rest and physical therapy or delay seeking treatment for several days.
However, there is substantial evidence that avoiding or delaying surgery to repair hip fractures is both dangerous and more costly in the long run. A 2017 Canadian study found that health risks substantially increased 24 hours following injury. Patients who had surgery within 24 hours were 82 percent less likely to develop blood clots in their legs, 61 percent less likely to suffer a heart attack, and 49 percent less likely to suffer a blood clot in the lung. They were also less likely to develop pneumonia due to shorter bedrest periods.
More importantly, they were more likely to live longer. According to a 2009 study, between 20 and 30 percent of people over 65 who suffer a hip fracture die within 12 months. The Canadian study found that this number declined by as much as 19 percent if surgery took place within three days of the fracture. Part of the reason prompt surgery has such a dramatic impact on health outcomes is because it helps avoid comorbidity, a term used to describe a situation where a patient suffers from multiple ailments at the same time.
Another study found that untreated hip fractures not only posed a threat to mobility and independence, but also carried substantial long-term financial costs, usually in the form of nursing facility expenses and other health complications. On a per-patient level, the total lifetime savings from receiving surgical treatment was about $160,000. Taking the population of 65 and over as a whole, the annual healthcare savings from treating hip fractures promptly were estimated at $16 billion.
A large percentage of hip fracture patients suffer from severe mobility loss. About 90 percent who needed no assistance climbing stairs will not be able to climb five stairs afterward, and about 30 percent could not even get out of bed without assistance. The loss of mobility increases the likelihood of another fall as well as bone and muscle deterioration. Patients who receive surgery promptly will have a faster recovery timetable, allowing them to regain confidence quickly and avoid further comorbidity complications owing to physical inactivity. The sooner patients can begin rehabilitation, the sooner they can begin to resume the day-to-day life they experienced prior to the fracture and avoid ongoing medical expenses associated with comorbidity.
Faster Surgical Recovery With BandGrip
Wound closure methods often aren’t considered in rehabilitation and recovery, but they can have a tremendous impact on a patient’s comfort and mobility. Sutures and staples have long been used by most surgeons as the primary closure modalities. Unfortunately, they aren’t always the best option for patients. They may have justified concerns about pulling a stitch or having the whisker ends of the sutures catch on fabric. Soreness and infection can also become a problem in the days following a procedure.
BandGrip Micro-Anchor Skin Closures avoid many of these problems, giving patients the comfort and confidence they need to start with their valuable rehabilitation. Completely non-invasive, BandGrip’s patented micro-anchors grip the skin tightly to pull the wound edges together so the natural healing process can take place with minimal scarring. With its smooth surface, there’s no risk of BandGrip catching on clothing or bedding. Patients can also shower within 24 hours of application, helping them to get back to living a normal life in the aftermath of surgery.
Find out more about how BandGrip can help patients recover faster and heal with less scarring here, and be sure to talk to your doctor about how BandGrip can help them close wounds faster and more effectively following a procedure.