Feb. 26 (UPI) -- Hip fractures don't have to stop a person from living independently, even as they age, a new study says.
One year after the fracture, only three percent of hip surgery patients between ages 50 and 80 needed to stay in a facility versus 20 percent of patients over 80, according to a study published this month in the Journal of Orthopaedic Trauma.
However, roughly 34 percent of patients between 50 and 80 required some type of walking aid, as well as 69 percent of patients over 80.
The study involved 600 hip surgery patients ages 50 and older who underwent procedures to fix a femoral neck fracture. That's one of the two most common types of hip surgeries, according to the Mayo Clinic.
The femoral neck is the flat portion of bone that connects the shaft of the femur to the head, or ball, which sits in the ball-and-socket joint to connect to the pelvic bone.
The researchers aimed to predict the patients' likelihood of going back to independent living and mobility by counting how many used walking aids a year after fracture, the researchers say.
The patients in the study were all walking independently prior to fracturing their hip.
Most hip fractures occur to either the intertrochanteric region or the femoral neck.
The National Institutes of Health estimates that most of the roughly seven million people in the U.S. with hip and knee replacements are mobile.
Most hip replacements are durable, with about six in 10 surgeries performed 25 years ago still in place, according to one study.
"Identifying factors associated with living and walking independently following hip fracture may help surgeons better identify which patients are at risk and optimize care of patients with this injury," Emil H. Schemitsch, a researcher at University of Western Ontario and study author, said in a news release.