Objectives: We aimed at assessing the visual functions in elderly patients with femoral neck fracture and to compare the results with age-matched controls in this three-year prospective study.
Patients and methods: Seventy-one patients with a history of fall related hip fracture (39 females, 32 males; mean age 76.3+/-9.7 years; range 64 to 90 years) and who were diagnosed with femoral neck fracture after direct graphy were treated by means of bipolar partial prosthesis and they were contacted postoperatively or prior to discharge to participate in the study. Visual acuity, depth perception, the presence of cataract in the red reflex were evaluated. A dilated fundus and slit-lamp examination were performed if possible. On completion of the examination, the ophthalmologist documented the causes of any visual impairment found. Control group was comprised of age-matched 40 subjects (22 females, 18 males; mean age 73.2+/-7.6 years; range 62 to 90 years) who applied to ophtalmology clinic for routine examination.
Results: The visual acuity was significantly decreased in the patient group as was stereopsis (p<0.05). We found no difference between the study group and the controls when we evaluate the distribution of self reported eye disease and eye disease found on ocular examination. The rate of cases who reported not usually wearing glasses was 35% while it was 5% in the control group. When we evaluate the time since last examination, 38% of cases had not had an eye examination for over four years, as compared with 22.5% of controls.
Conclusion: This study shows that elderly people should have their eyes tested at least once every two years, refractive errors should be corrected and eye diseases should be treated to decrease the risk of fall-related femoral neck fractures.