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The aim of the study was to assess the capability of different definitions of low appendicular lean mass (aLM) to predict the short-term functional recovery in men with hip fracture.We investigated 80 of 95 men with hip fracture admitted consecutively to a rehabilitation hospital. Body composition was assessed by dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry. Functional recovery after inpatient rehabilitation was evaluated using Barthel Index scores.The patients with aLM above the cutoff value of 19.75 kg indicated by the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health (FNIH) had significantly higher Barthel Index scores than those with aLM below the cutoff value (P = 0.002). Patients' categorization according to the same threshold (aLM = 19.75 kg) was significantly associated with a Barthel Index score of 85 or higher after adjustment for age, cognitive impairment, hip fracture type, co-morbidities, and medications (odds ratio = 7.17, 95% confidence interval = 1.43–35.94, P = 0.017). Conversely, patients' categorization according to neither Baumgartner's cutoff value (7.26 kg/m2) for aLM/height2 nor Foundation for the National Institutes of Health cutoff value (0.789) for aLM divided by body mass index was significantly associated with the Barthel Index scores.Categorization according to the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health threshold for aLM, but not to the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health threshold for aLM/body mass index or Baumgartner's threshold for aLM/height2, was associated with the short-term recovery in activities of daily living after a hip fracture in men.