Femur fracture recovery
August 24, 2018 6:25 PM   Subscribe

Hi all My grandpa broke his femur( hip) two weeks ago. He had surgery. He is home now but still bes bound. He has arthritis and has bad knees so hard for him to walk. Actually he is non weight bearing on the fractured leg so he would have to hop and that would be near impossible doe him I am looking for your experience with older family member whi broke their hips ? What was their experience like? How long did it take to walk with a walker? How long was the recoveey time? Thanks
posted by barexamfreak to Health & Fitness (5 answers total)
I think a lot of it has to do with how old he is and the severity of the hip fracture. Was he non-weight bearing on that leg before the hip break? And are there any physical and occupational therapy plans in place for him? Because that makes a world of difference.

My mother (late 60s) had a broken elbow and fractured kneecap last June, and then in July fell again and broke her hip. (long story ) . After hip replacement surgery she was in a rehab hospital for two weeks. But they had her up with a walker (modified because her arm was non-weight-bearing) two days after the hip replacement. All patients there, regardless of age had 2-3 hours of PT and OT a day. The staff found a way to work with even the least mobile patients.

After going home, Mom had in-home PT and OT 3x/week for a month, and then outpatient PT 2x/week until November. Mom moved to a cane in September, and used that until November. She's now back to normal with a limp that only close family notices.

I hope this helps a bit. Good thoughts to grandpa!
posted by kimberussell at 6:59 PM on August 24, 2018

I had hip surgery (the ball broke right off the end of my femur) in my twenties, so adjust your grain of salt accordingly, but my experience was the same as kimberussell's Mom. The time on the Ortho rehab ward was invaluable. (My case was complicated by the fact that I detached a retina in the same accident and got a stubborn infection from the catheter I had during surgery and recovery.)
posted by The Underpants Monster at 7:13 PM on August 24, 2018 [1 favorite]

Your grandfather’s surgeon should have given instructions about how long he would need to be non weight bearing. This amount of time varies depending on the nature of the fracture and the type of surgery done to repair it. Six to eight weeks seems to be the average for this type of surgery with the patients I manage.

Adaptive equipment is helpful during a long period of limited mobility. An adjustable bed, a grab bar/trapeze bar overhead to help him with sitting up in bed, a bedside commode, urinals, and a wheelchair could all make recovery easier for him and his caregivers. If he can get some no rinse shampoo and no rinse body wash that will make bathing infinitely easier.

Eventually he will need physical therapy and possibly occupational therapy, but the timing of those post fracture can vary a bit.
posted by little mouth at 5:42 AM on August 25, 2018

My mother-in-law (79) fell in April, resulting in one fracture to her pelvis and two to her "upper leg," as the doctors stated it. She is still recovering. She still has a lot of pain and it takes her a long time to recover when she has to expend energy to move around. As long as she doesn't move around too much, her pain isn't as bad, but the combination of injury and compensation means that her arthritis is worse. She has therapy three days a week and on those days the therapy is basically all she can do. The other days of the week she has enough energy for one outing for errands, but it will take its toll on her. She can't really combine errands into a longer trip, as the total amount of effort is too much.

She has a cane and a walker, but she mostly uses the walker. She can get around her house without help, but if she needs to leave the house she still needs to rely on other people. She lives alone, but in an "active retirement community," and she's got a robust network of friends who both help her out and keep her company. What's your grampa's living situation? Is he alone, or does he have a network that keeps him going? Does he let people help him, or does he feel a strong need to exert his independence? Is he motivated to do his PT and OT, or is he apathetic or actively refusing?

Best wishes to him, you, and your family. This can be tough to get through.
posted by fedward at 9:21 AM on August 25, 2018

Having had a broken femur, then a couple years later a broken hip, those are quite different things. Many times a "broken hip" is a broken femoral neck - the angled part at the top that connects to the hip ball.
Then there are different repairs. With a hip replacement, they try to get you up and moving around quickly. With a compression bolt like I had, it takes months before the leg can be load bearing. I'm guessing he had a replacement just based on age, but I don't know that.
There are way too many unknowns in your post to be getting advise from people on the net.
Talk to the surgeon that did the work. That's the only person that knows all the variables.
posted by rudd135 at 8:03 AM on August 26, 2018 [2 favorites]

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