Constipation and defecation pattern the first 30 days after hip fracture


  • Mette Trads RN Master in Clinical Nursing,

    PhD Student, Corresponding author
    1. Orthopaedic Ward Department, Region Hospital Randers, Risskov, Region Midtjylland, Denmark
    • Correspondence: Mette Trads, Højtoftevej 16, Risskov, Region Midtjylland 8240, Denmark. Email:

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  • Preben U. Pedersen PhD

    1. Nursing Science, Århus University, Århus, Denmark, Denmark
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Constipation is often an overlooked aspect of patient care and increases the risk of postoperative complications, can prolong hospital stay, increase financial cost and add to staff nursing care time. A prospective descriptive design was used. One hundred six patients with hip fracture participated. On admission, day of discharge and 30 days after surgery, patients' normal and actual defecation pattern, stool consistency and if they had experienced problems with defecation were assessed using Bristol Stool Scale and a scale composed by Rasmussen. There were 69.1% of the patients who developed constipation during the first postoperative days and 62.3% reported the same problems 30 days after surgery. Normal defecation pattern was re-established 9.5 days after surgery, though 22.7% of the patients did not re-establish normal defecation pattern within the first 30 days after surgery. The results imply that further studies are needed to prevent constipation and help patients to cope with this side-effect of surgery after discharge.