Comprehensive Approach for the Treatment of Osteoporotic Fractures in Older Adults
Loyola Medicine’s geriatric fracture program provides a multidisciplinary approach to the treatment of older adult patients with fragility fractures. About 50 percent of older women and a third of older men will suffer a major osteoporotic fracture in their lifetime. Hip fractures are the most common major injury seen in older adults with osteoporosis. Fractures in older adults often lead to chronic pain, reduced mobility, disability and a loss of independence.
Loyola’s center brings together the expertise of internists, geriatricians, family medicine doctors, endocrinologists and orthopaedic surgeons to care for older adult patients with fractures resulting from osteoporosis or other causes. Our geriatric fracture program provides the following specialized services:
- Assessment for osteoporosis risk factors
- Bone density testing
- Hip replacement surgery
- Medical treatment for osteoporosis
- Minimally invasive surgical treatment
- Vitamin D testing
- Vitamin supplementation
Your healthcare team at Loyola will provide you with a comprehensive treatment plan and discuss all options with you prior to proceeding with treatment.
Why Choose Loyola Medicine for Osteoporotic Fracture Treatment?
As part of the patient care provided at Loyola, we are committed to working with you and your family to help navigate the physical and emotional difficulties surrounding a fracture and recovery. Your healthcare team will include doctors and nurses specialized in osteoporotic fractures, as well as physical and occupational therapists with expertise caring for patients after a fracture occurs.
We have expertise in caring for patients from diagnosis of an osteoporotic fracture through treatment and recovery. At Loyola, you will have access to the most advanced technology, medical and surgical treatments and an exceptionally skilled healthcare team.
What It Is
What is an Osteoporotic Fracture?
An osteoporotic fracture (sometimes called 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.
As we age, our bones become weaker and less dense, and we become more susceptible to fractures. This process often happens over many years without symptoms or discomfort. Fractures occurring in the spine, called vertebral compression fractures, often occur as a result of osteoporosis.
The following factors put older adult patients at higher risk of having an osteoporotic fracture:
- Patients who are underweight
- Patients who experience weakness or dizziness
- Patients who have brittle bones or a low bone mineral density (BMD)
- Patients who have kyphosis (hunchback or humpback posture)
- Patients who have osteoporosis
How are Osteoporotic Fractures Treated?
The specialists at Loyola’s geriatric fracture program understand that fractures cause pain and limit mobility. Our orthopaedic surgeons, hospitalists and endocrinologists work together to provide expedient treatment to patients with fractures in a compassionate environment.
Your Loyola doctor will assess your need 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.
If necessary, your Loyola healthcare team can provide surgical treatment quickly, usually within 24 to 48 hours. Loyola also provides aggressive postoperative medical care to decrease the chances of complications such as confusion, pneumonia, bed sores and muscle loss due to lack of activity. Medications prescribed following surgical treatment are dose-adjusted for your age and chosen carefully to limit side effects.
Our physical and occupational therapists have expertise caring for patients after a fracture occurs and can provide:
- Balance training
- Methods for accomplishing daily tasks that have become difficult
- Personalized exercise programs for regaining mobility
- Recommendations for making your home safer
- Recommendations for making your space more accommodating to your daily activities
- Referrals for behavioral and mental health providers