The statistics are staggering; Each year, hip fractures affect the lives of nearly a quarter of a million older adults in the United States, and 1.6 million older adults worldwide.
According to the REGAIN website, the consequences of hip fractures can be severe. “At two months after fracture, approximately one-third of patients will still be unable to walk independently. At 1 year, among people who were living independently before their fracture, only 55% will have will returned home, 20% will be in new long-term care, and the other 25% will have died.”
A new study aims to help decrease these statistics and improve outcomes.
With funding from the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute, The University of Pennsylvania, has initiated and designed the Regional vs. General Anesthesia for Promoting Independence after Hip Fracture Surgery (REGAIN) clinical research trial.
Enrolling more than 2000 patients, IAA’s Dr. Sheppard and a team of fellow physicians from over 25 cities across from United States and Canada work to compare General Anesthesia vs. Spinal Anesthesia for repair of hip fractures and determine their effects on both cognitive outcomes as well as physical abilities postoperatively. The team will be documenting results regarding gait, overall health and disability, pain, and survival.
During the trial, eligible men and women over the age of 50 who are admitted to the hospital with a hip fracture requiring surgery are randomly assigned to receive either general or regional anesthesia for their hip fracture surgery. Following surgery, patients will be contacted three times during the year following surgery to complete follow-up interviews and questionnaires about their mobility and independence.
What’s the impact of choices being made by anesthesiologists on the quality of life of hip fracture patients? IAA’s Dr. Richard Sheppard is taking the lead in finding out.