Hip fracture patient praises care

A young female physiotherapist and a young female nurse stand beside and older woman seated in a chair.
Mary McFerran of Mandurah who had a total hip replacement with (left) Senior Physiotherapist Cindy Yeo and Clinical Nurse Specialist Lisa Welthy at FSH’s Orthopaedic Ward.
September 19, 2019

When Mandurah grandmother Mary McFerran fell during a Saturday afternoon outing at the local marina she had no idea that within two days she would have new hips.

An active woman who enjoyed caring for her family at her home, Mary was with her daughter when she tripped up a small step.

Taken by ambulance to Peel Health Campus then transferred to Fiona Stanley Hospital, Mary has nothing but praise for how she was treated for pain and cared for by Orthopaedic Surgery staff.

“It was a big shock because I’d never fallen before, but I had to have a full hip replacement,” Mary said. “I couldn’t believe that even after such a big operation the pain was a lot less, and the next day I was up and walking down the corridor.”

Now at home using a walker, doing physiotherapy and “feeling a bit better every day”, Mary experienced some of the best orthopaedic care in Australia.

Hip fracture is the most serious and costly fall-related injury suffered by older people. More than 20,000 people across Australia break their hip each year, with the cost to the economy approximately $1 billion annually.

Australia’s largest annual hip fracture report from The Australian and New Zealand Hip Fracture Registry (ANZHFR), released this week, shows orthopaedic staff at Fiona Stanley Hospital (FSH) are leading the way.

Despite being the busiest – FSH does the most hip fracture operations by volume across Australia and NZ – the hospital was the top performer in the use of nerve blocks, critical for early pain relief for patients.

Other achievements included enabling patients to walk the day after surgery and having the quickest time to surgery, alongside Perth's Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital and Royal North Shore Hospital in NSW.

According to FSH Orthopaedic Surgery Co-Head Andrew Mattin the magic figure for hip fractures is 48.

“Forty-eight hours from time of first presentation to surgery is the key to a patient successfully recovering from a hip fracture and 98 per cent of FSH's hip fracture patients got to surgery within 48 hours,” Andrew said.   

"This is a significant improvement in patient care over the last five years which has dramatically reduced patient complications and deaths.

"Our patients are experiencing less pain and are on their feet able to resume their daily lives sooner.

"FSH has become a centre for excellence in hip fractures and an international exemplar for care.”

The Australian and New Zealand Hip Fracture Registry (ANZHFR) at Neuroscience Research Australia (NeuRA) covers all 96 public hospitals operating on hip fracture patients in Australia.

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