Background and purpose: Patients with stroke have up to a 4-fold increased risk of hip fracture because of their high incidence of falls and loss of bone mass in the paretic side, ie, hemiosteoporosis. The purpose of this study was to investigate the prevalence of previous stroke among patients with femoral neck fracture.
Methods: The study included all 568 patients, aged >/=65 years, who underwent surgery for femoral neck fracture in 1980, 1983, 1987, 1993, and 1997 at the orthopedic clinic of Umeå University Hospital, Umeå, Sweden.
Results: The prevalence of previous strokes ranged from 16.4% to 38.5% (P<0.001); this finding is only partly explained by the increased incidence of stroke in the corresponding population, and there was no significant increase in the overall incidence of femoral neck fracture. Fractures occurred 5.4+/-6.4 years after stroke (median 2.9 years, range 0 to 33 years). In stroke patients with unilateral stroke and persisting paresis at the time of fracture, 62.5% had their fracture on the paretic side (P=0. 034). Survival was significantly reduced in patients with previous stroke (P<0.001). In patients previously independently mobile, 69.2% with no previous stroke and 38.1% with previous stroke were still mobile at discharge from the orthopedic unit (P<0.001).
Conclusions: Attention must be focused on stroke as a major and increasing risk factor for femoral neck fracture and also on the poor postfracture outcome and reduced survival of these patients. Prevention of poststroke fractures is necessary and is aimed at reducing the risk of poststroke fall and preventing the development of hemiosteoporosis.