OBJECTIVES: Evaluation of patients with a second hip fracture, which means a fracture of the contralateral hip. DESIGN: Retrospective database analysis. SETTINGS: Academic teaching hospital. PATIENTS: All patients who were admitted for their second hip fractures between November 1999 and September 2001 and had their first hip fracture treated in our institution. INTERVENTION: In this study, we epidemiologically analyzed the fracture types, the interval between the two fractures, general status of the patients, type of operation performed, and the postfracture independence level. RESULTS: This survey comprises 84 patients (65 females and 19 males). Their ages ranged from 57 to 91 years (mean: 79) and 58 to 93 years (mean: 82) for the first and the second operation, respectively. The interval between the operations ranged from 2 to 297 months (mean: 35 months, median: 30 months). Twenty-three patients had subcapital fractures in both hips. In 54 patients, bilateral intertrochanteric fractures were noted. Only 7 patients had a previous subcapital fracture and a second intertrochanteric fracture. The general status of the patients' health was defined by the number of pre-existing major medical conditions and was found to be between 0 and 4 (mean: 2.15). Thirty-two patients (38%) had additional fractures somewhere between 1 and 8 years prior to the hip fracture (vertebra, proximal humerus, or distal radius). Sixty-eight and 56 out of the 84 patients reached the same mobility status after the first and second operation, respectively. CONCLUSIONS: A tendency was found for the second hip fracture to be of the same type as the previous one. Most patients showed a good potential for rehabilitation and for maintaining their prefall functional level.
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