Dynamic weight loading in older people with hip fracture
Akke Bakker, Taco J. Blokhuis, Michelle D.M.E. Meeks, Hermie J. Hermens, Herman R. Holtslag
Department of Surgery, University Medical Centre Utrecht, The Netherlands
Objective: Hip fractures have a high morbidity and mortality in elderly patients. Improving mobility outcomes is crucial in order to decrease the burden of this injury. The objective of this study was to investigate dynamic weight loading in older people with hip fractures using a new device.
Design: In an observational study, low-energy hip fracture patients were monitored one day per week with the FeetB@ck
system during their admission. Pain, gait and balance scores were noted. Outcome measures of the FeetB@ck system are steps, walking bouts and loading rate.
Results: A total of 21 patients with hip fracture were included in the study (mean age 80.3 years (standard deviation 8.3 years)). The number of steps, walking bouts and loading rate had a positive linear relationship with rehabilitation (i.e. gait and balance scores) (p < 0.05). These parameters also differed significantly between patients with short (less than 8 weeks, n = 7), intermediate (between 8 and 12 weeks, n = 8) and long (longer than 12 weeks, n = 6) of rehabilitation (p < 0.01).
Conclusion: The loading rate is a sensitive weight loading parameter for analysis of dynamic weight loading during rehabilitation in elderly hip fracture patients. This parameter correlates with clinical improvement and can differentiate between fast and slow rehabilitation.
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