Hip fracture patients should be screened for cervical myelopathy

Hip fractures are a common cause of morbidity and mortality in elderly patients. Cervical myelopathy is a common neurological condition that can diminish balance and coordination.

In new research presented today at the 2012 Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS), investigators screened 28 hip fracture patients and 35 hip replacement patients (all cognitively healthy) for cervical myelopathy. Eighteen percent (five) of the hip fracture patients did indeed have cervical myelopathy. None of the hip replacement patients tested positive for the condition.

Undiagnosed neurological disorders may predispose patients to falls and fractures. Screening for cervical myelopathy should be standard care for all hip fracture patients, to reduce the risk for additional falls and fractures.

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