Hip-surgery rehabilitation is long road - maybe a year

Treatment for a hip fracture usually requires surgery with a week-long hospital stay. But recovery can take up to a year, according to the May issue of the Mayo Clinic Health Letter.

Getting up quickly after surgery can minimize complications. Most people who were able to walk before the hip fracture are on their feet again within a couple of days after surgery.

A physical therapist can help you learn to sit, stand and walk so the hip isn't reinjured. And you'll need the help of a cane, walker or crutch-es for several months.

Could Fido lower cost of insurance?

Research has shown that people who have pets can lower blood pressure, reduce stress and depression and lessen the risk of heart disease, according to the American Pet Products Manufacturers Association, a nonprofit trade association.

Now Midland Life Insurance Company is recognizing the positive health effects of pet ownership by counting it as a healthy lifestyle choice for senior applicants. That, in turn, can contribute to better discounts on insurance costs.

FDA approves to Biex for salivary estriol test

Biex Inc. has been given marketing approval by the Food and Drug Administration for a salivary estriol test to help doctors identify risk for spontaneous preterm labor and delivery. The SalEst System is approved for use in women between their 22nd and 36th weeks of pregnancy.

The system measures levels of the hormone estriol in saliva. Clinical research shows there is a surge in salivary estriol several weeks before the onset of spontaneous preterm labor and that the special testing is more accurate in predicting risk than traditional scoring methods.

Doctors have said that under the traditional methods of calculating risk, many women receive more intervention than they need while others don't receive the extra care in time.

An estimated 1 in 9 births are pre-term. And despite significant improvements in neonatal care, about 40,000 babies die each year, primarily due to pre-term birth and low birth weight. An estimated $5 billion is spent annually just for the neonatal intensive care that pre-term babies require. A like amount is spent on surgical and lab procedures, doctor's fees, medications and related services before the infant is discharged.

Ortho launches skin-care Web site

Ortho Dermatological, maker of Renova 0.05%, has launched a Web site designed to provide information on skin care advances and anti-aging issues. "The Wrinkle Report: An Online Workshop on Skin Care Advances" is located at http://www.wrinklereport.com.

Among the features are "Ask a Dermatologist Archives," which include some of the questions most commonly asked of dermatologists on subjects ranging from skin to nails to hair.