The purpose of this prospective cohort study was to evaluate if the Timed Up and Go Test is a useful tool to measure postoperative function and to predict one-year results of rehabilitation in patients operated owing to hip fracture.
A total of 684 patients from the department of orthopaedic surgery at five hospitals in Norway were included in the study. To be included, patients needed to be 60 years old with trochanteric or subtrochanteric hip fractures. A total of 171 (25%) patients died within a year and 373 (73% of patients still alive) attended follow-up one year after surgery. The main measure was the Timed Up and Go Test and walking ability. Patients were assessed five days postoperatively and after one year.
A total of 258 (38%) patients passed the postoperative Timed Up and Go Test. A total of 217 (56%) patients with a prefracture independent outdoor walking ability, passed the test. The average Timed Up and Go Test score was 71 seconds. A total of 171 (25%) patients could not rise from a chair without assistance; 8% of the patients with cognitive impairment, and 8% of those admitted from nursing homes, were able to pass the postoperative Timed Up and Go Test. The sensitivity and specificity of the Timed Up and Go Test in predicting walking ability one year after the operation were low. At one year follow-up, 38% of the patients not able to perform the postoperative Timed Up and Go Test, passed the test. A total of 81 (21%) patients did not use any walking-aid, 17 of them did not pass the postoperative Timed Up and Go Test.
The Timed Up and Go Test performed on the fifth postoperative day was not a suitable tool to assess functional mobility for the majority of the patients with hip fractures in our study. Neither was the postoperative Timed Up and Go Test a suitable tool to predict the walking ability one year after the operation.