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Date of Award


Degree Type

Thesis (On-Campus Access Only)

Degree Name

Master of Physical Therapy (MPT)

First Advisor

Ann Williams, PhD, PT

Second Advisor

John Medeiros, PhD, PT


The majority of hip fractures are caused by falls, and balance deficits have long been associated with increased incidence of falls. Increased postural sway is one indicator of decreased balance.. Few studies have been conducted on the balance of people who have sustained hip fractures and fewer yet have analyzed the ability to improve balance through training. This study investigated whether skilled physical therapy could decrease postural sway, measured by an ataxiameter, in patients who had undergone a recent hip pinning or total hip replacement procedure. The results indicated there was a strong trend towards change in postural sway from the time of admission to discharge with eyes open, but not with eyes closed. This indicates that the treatment protocol in this study was adequate to improve the balance of hip surgery patients when their eyes were open; however, specific balance training activities may need to be included in treatment protocols in order to improve balance when the patients' eyes are closed. Also, the older individuals in the study did not show improvement in postural sway to the extent of the younger subjects. More specific balance training may be indicated in the older .elderly as well.


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