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September 12, 1977

Nontreatment of Hip Fractures in Senile Patients

JAMA. 1977;238(11):1175-1176. doi:10.1001/jama.1977.03280120067019

Five elderly patients with hip fractures were deemed unsuited for surgical repair because of severe organic mental syndromes. All survived the postfracture period without the morbidity of decubitus ulcers and pulmonary complications, or the pain, mental anguish, and expense of hospitalization and surgery. Surgical repair of a hip fracture is not necessarily a mandatory or life-saving procedure. For patients unlikely to walk again, nonoperative management is a reasonable alternative—provided good nursing care is available.

(JAMA 238:1175-1176, 1977)