American Journal of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation
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Total hip arthroplasty is very successful in alleviating the pain from osteoarthritis. However, deficits in lower limb strength, gait, and balance after surgery has identified this group at risk of falls. Considering the high number of people annually receiving a total hip arthroplasty, further elaboration of factors associated with falls is needed to refine fall prevention guidelines. The objective was to examine the prevalence and circumstances of falling and the risk factors associated with falling in older adults in the first year after total hip arthroplasty surgery. This was a cross-sectional study involving 108 individuals (age of 72.4 ± 6.5 yrs, 60% females) who had unilateral total hip arthroplasty. The primary outcome was falls and their circumstances during the 12 mos after the total hip arthroplasty. Twenty-five people (23.1%) had at least one fall and most falls (56%) occurred 6-12 mos after surgery. Falls resulted in minor injuries for 44% and 12% reported major injuries. The strongest independent predictor for falls was a history of a previous joint replacement with odds ratio of 7.38 (95% CI = 2.41-22.62, P < 0.001). Overall, the information highlights that falls are common after total hip arthroplasty, yet considering the older age of people having this surgery screening for falls risk should follow established guidelines.
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