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Characteristics and outcome in patients sustaining a second contralateral fracture of the hip

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We compared 5341 patients with an initial fracture of the hip with 633 patients who sustained a second fracture of the contralateral hip. Patients presenting with a second fracture were more likely to be institutionalised, female, older, and have lower mobility and mental test scores. There was no significant difference between the two groups with regards to the change in the level of mobility or return to their original residence at one year follow-up. However, the mortality rate in the second fracture group was significantly higher at one year (31.6% vs 27.3%, p = 0.024). In two thirds of patients, the second fracture was in the same anatomical location as the first. In an analysis of 293 patients, approximately 70% of second fractures occurred within three years of the first.

This is the largest study to investigate the outcome of patients who sustain a second contralateral hip fracture. Despite the higher mortality rate at one year, the outcome for surviving patients is not significantly different from those after initial hip fractures.

Correspondence should be sent to Mr S. Sawalha; e-mail:

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