Surgery is the best course of treatment in most of the typical hip fractures. If you don't operate, the potential for complications - such as permanent immobility - goes up exponentially. Because hip fractures are most common in elderly patients, any additional loss of mobility can really influence quality of life and lead to a range of health issues.
Once surgery is complete, depending on the procedure and the patient's overall health, an individual will probably be in the hospital an additional two to three days. We want to have all patients up and walking the next day when possible. There are many factors to consider, but, in general, a younger and healthier patient may go home after a few days. With older patients, or those requiring more follow-up, they would likely go into a rehab center for one to three weeks.
Dr. Michael D. O'Brien is a past president of the medical staff at St. Luke Hospital where he served as Chief of Surgery. He is certified by the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery and is a fellow of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.