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Evidence-based guidelines for fixing broken hips: an update

Michael N Chilov, Ian D Cameron and Lyn M March
Med J Aust 2003; 179 (9): 489-493.

Summary

Objective: To update evidence-based guidelines for the treatment of proximal femoral fractures published in the Journal in 1999.

Data sources: Systematic literature search of MEDLINE, CINAHL and EMBASE from January 1996 to September 2001 and the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews (most recent issue searched — Issue 2, 2002).

Study selection: Randomised controlled trials and meta-analyses of all aspects of acute-care hospital treatment and rehabilitation of proximal femoral fractures among subjects aged 50 years and over with proximal femoral fractures not associated with metastatic disease or multiple trauma.

Data extraction: All studies were read independently by two reviewers. Reviewers recorded individual study results, and an assessment of study quality and treatment conclusions according to Cochrane Collaboration protocols. If necessary, a third review was performed to reach consensus.

Results: 93 new studies were identified and 82 met our inclusion criteria. Recommendations for thromboprophylaxis, anaesthesia, surgical fixation of fractures and nutritional status have been altered to incorporate new evidence. Recommendations have been added regarding postoperative blood transfusion, the management of subtrochanteric fractures, and the type of surgical swabs which should be used.

Conclusions: Although there have been few significant changes to the previous recommendations, updating the guidelines has required substantial effort. The common clinical problem of hip fracture should be treated according to the most up-to-date evidence to achieve the best possible outcomes and optimal utilisation of limited resources. Guideline updates also require resourcing.

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  • Michael N Chilov1
  • Ian D Cameron2
  • Lyn M March

  • 1 Concord Repatriation General Hospital, Concord, NSW.
  • 2 Rehabilitation Studies Unit, Northern Clinical School, Faculty of Medicine, University of Sydney, Ryde, NSW.
  • 3 Institute of Bone and Mineral Research, Northern Clinical School, Faculty of Medicine, University of Sydney, St Leonards, NSW.

Correspondence: 

Competing interests:

None identified.

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