What to do when your loved one needs a hip fracture repaired.
So you have an elderly loved one who does not want anything extraordinary done at the end of their life. They have chosen not to be resuscitated.
However, they accidentally fall and unfortunately break their hip. What do you do? Repair of the hip requires surgery with either general anesthesia or spinal with deep sedation. This would require at least temporary resuscitation.
A hip fracture will not necessarily shorten a person’s life but it will make it much more painful. Because the leg is not stable, walking is not possible. The person would be bedridden and even turning in bed would be hard and painful. This leads to difficulty with toileting and prevention of bedsores.
Surgery will fix the fracture, making the leg stable and walking is possible. The pain is significantly less, even immediately after the surgery. Sometimes a fracture of the hip will make someone who was ambulating and wheelchair bound, but mobility is still possible without pain.
All in all, repair of a hip fracture even at the end of life, will reduce pain and suffering. It is well worth the risks.