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Home Exercise Programs May Improve Hip Fracture Recovery

Home Exercise ProgramsHip fractures are quite common among the elderly, often leading to life endangering complications. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, out of every 10 hip fractures about 9 occur in people over sixty. After surgery and rehabilitation, most people are in a long-term care facility, but still unable to perform routine activities easily. A recent study says that a home-based exercise programs can promote recovery in patients after rehab for hip fracture.

The study found that patients recovering from a broken hip who had attended a standard rehabilitation program showed better physical function by adhering to a home workout schedule. The participants included 232 functionally limited older adults who had undergone traditional rehabilitation soon after the fracture. The participants were divided in to two groups. One group was put on a home exercise program under the supervision of a trained physical therapist and the other group received in-home or telephone-based education about healthy eating.

The first group was put on “functional” home exercise programs that mimicked several things that people normally do in their daily lives like rising from a chair, climbing stairs, or lifting a bag of groceries, and so on. Those who exercised regularly three times a week for six months reported enhanced function and mobility than the other group which had received only healthy nutrition advice.

The results of the study show that hip fracture patients should continue with their physical therapy exercises on their own at home after their clinical rehab is over. They should be provided with professional guidance on how to perform the exercises and how to modify them over time. The home-exercise can even prove life-saving, says an expert, as staying active with exercise can reduce the risk of complications associated with hip surgery like blood clots, pneumonia, wound infections, and more. In fact, inactivity after a major injury or surgery would only breed more health issues. The authors also stressed that further research is needed to determine if this type of home-exercise program could be used cost effectively in other clinical settings.

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