Nationwide, 59 million Americans suffer from chronic joint pain, and studies show that joint replacements are 90 percent effective in relieving pain and improving functionality. In the United States, 350,000 hip fractures occur annually, with more than 90 percent occurring in those 65 years and older. It is projected that by 2050 there will be 650,000 hip fractures annually.
Following hip fracture surgery, frail elderly people are at highest risk for functional decline, delirium, pneumonia and death. Studies suggest that patients with an 18-hour delay in surgery are at increased risk, making timely treatment essential. As the population ages, the demand for hip and knee replacements is increasing. A related aspect is care for elderly people who come to us through the emergency room with hip fractures. While they don’t all require joint replacements, they do need surgical intervention and highly coordinated care to avoid complications and preserve independence.
Currently Mills-Peninsula orthopedics physicians provide a wide range of surgeries including sports medicine and joint replacement. Our orthopedics surgeons also share responsibility for responding to emergencies that include the particularly at-risk population of elderly people with hip fractures. While the quality of medical care has been consistently excellent, it has not been coordinated in a comprehensive program that includes structured education and rehabilitation and shared planning for hip fracture care.