Geriatric Fracture Program

Elderly patients who have fractured a hip, leg or ankle now have access to a specialized program through FMC’s Spine and Joint Surgery Center. The new Geriatric Fracture Program is just one of several innovative programs FMC has initiated to provide the highest quality healthcare for elderly patients.

According to the American Orthopaedic Association:
• Nearly 50 percent of women and 25 percent of men over the age of 50 will fracture a hip
• Each year, more than one-third of Americans over the age of 65 fall and fracture bones
• Nearly 15 percent of hip fracture patients over the age of 65 will be readmitted to the hospital within 30 days of being discharged

“This program aims to improve the quality of life after a fracture,” said Physical Therapist Angelo Pappas, P.T., program manager. “The growing elderly population means hospitals will see a dramatic increase in patients with fractures. FMC is prepared to help these patients reach a full recovery.”

The Geriatric Fracture Program takes a streamlined approach to get patients into surgery faster and focuses on pain management, early mobility and post-hospital care. A multidisciplinary team of orthopedic surgeons, physicians, nurses, therapists and technicians develop individualized treatment plans for each patient. Additional benefits of the comprehensive program are reduced the length of stay in the hospital and decreased readmission rates for patients.

“Since starting the program at FMC in December 2011, the average length of stay for elderly patients with a hip, leg or ankle fracture has decreased from 7.5 days to less than 5 days,” Angelo said. “And the average time from arriving at FMC to being taken into surgery has decreased significantly. We also have seen readmission rates in this patient group decrease. And goal is for our patients to be able to get back to the activities they love much sooner.”