Six versus twelve weeks of progressive strength training in patients with hip fracture

​A randomized controlled trial: the role of progressive strength training

Principal investigator: Jan Overgaard

Principal supervisor: Morten Tange Kristensen

Research initiative:  Department of Rehabilitation, Lolland Community, Denmark and PMR-C.

Time frame: 2009-14


Patients with hip fracture commonly loos function and some are not able to return to their pre-fracture residence, and therefore a major burden for health economics worldwide. Furthermore, a fractured-limb strength-deficit of 50% as compared to the non-fractured has been shown shortly after surgery. Still no study has succeeded in totally eliminating this deficit and returning all patients to their prefracture functional level.


The purpose of this study is to examine the effect of a 6 vs. 12 weeks rehabilitation program, that includes progressive strength training. Secondary purpose is to report changes in the fractured limb knee-extension strength after 6 vs. 12 weeks of progressive strength training. The hypothesis is that the effect of 12 weeks of physical therapy with strength training will be greater than 6 weeks of physical therapy with strength training, after a hip fracture operation.

Experimental approach

The methodology of this study is a single-blinded randomized controlled (blinded outcome assessors) trial conducted in 4 outpatient facilities. Patients are randomly assigned to a group performing 6 or 12 weeks of physical therapy including a progressive strength training program. Both groups receive two training sessions per week.

Patients are tested  within two weeks of hospital discharge (baseline), and 6, 12, and 24 weeks after the baseline testing.Physical therapy and progressive strength training is initiated after baseline testing. 

Key measurements are functional performance (6 Minute-Walk-Test), muscle strength (knee-extension), and patient reported outcome scores.

Additional information


Jan Overgaard:

Responsible editor