A new report has found that most people recovering from a hip operation need further rehabilitation or nursing home care.

The Clinical Geriatric Lead with the Irish Hip Fracture Database says people need to be re-educated about hips.

Speaking on RTÉ's Morning Ireland, Dr Emer Ahern said that a fractured hip was an emergency, like a heart attack or stroke, and that a broken hip needed to be treated as quickly as possible.

Dr Ahern, who is a Consultant Geriatrician at St Luke’s in Kilkenny, said ideally everyone should have surgery within 48 hours.

However, some hospitals only provide trauma services from Monday to Friday, which has a significant impact on recovery.

Dr Ahern described the trauma of fracturing a hip and undergoing emergency surgery as a "huge hit" to the system.

As a result these patients, who are mostly elderly, are more at risk of complications after surgery.

She added that these high-risk patients needed to be identified so their outcomes could be improved.

Dr Ahern said this could be done by early intervention by a specialist geriatric team.

Currently, just four of 16 hospitals have routine geriatrician involvement. Patients that can avail of this service tend to have better recovery rates.

More than 3,500 people break their hip in Ireland every year. Most of these patients are in their 80s and 70% of them are women.