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Geriatric Fracture Program
The Geriatric Fracture Program provides a multidisciplinary approach to the treatment of elderly patients with fragility fractures. A fragility fracture is a broken bone due to osteoporosis, or “soft bone.” These types of injuries occur most commonly in the hips, wrists and spine. Fragility fractures affect up to one-half of women and one-third of men over age 50.
Many elderly patients admitted to the hospital because of a broken bone also have underlying health conditions, such as heart failure, diabetes and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, which can be exacerbated by the injury or by the surgery to treat the injury. Such conditions require medical evaluation and treatment that can delay surgical intervention. But the longer surgery is put off, the greater the risk of post-operative complications, such as pneumonia and blood clots.
We provide expedient medical services to prepare patients for surgery within 24-48 hours, whenever possible. We also provide aggressive post-operative medical care to decrease the rates of delirium, pneumonia, bed sores and muscle loss due to lack of activity. Medications routinely used around the time of surgery are dose adjusted for the elderly and drugs known to have adverse affects in the elderly are avoided. Our team consists of orthopaedic surgeons, hospitalists and endocrinologists working together with these initiatives in mind.
Our team assesses each patient’s needs for osteoporosis treatment with vitamin D testing and an assessment of risk factors for osteoporosis. We will begin a regimen of vitamin supplementation and/or osteoporosis medication if it is deemed medically appropriate. We may also schedule a DEXA scan after the patient has recovered from injury to establish a baseline for treatment efficacy.