Preventing and Treating Fragility Fractures in our Aging Population

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(860) 714-5955 

The Fragility Fracture Program
at Saint Francis

114 Woodland Street
Hartford, CT 06105
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We achieved Premier Certification Status for Geriatric Fracture Care from IGFS. Learn more... 


An epidemic of fractures

Improved life expectancy and aging of the so-called Baby Boomer population have resulted in a population that is rapidly aging. Our fastest-growing segment is seniors over age 85! As a result, falls and fractures are increasing. While osteoporosis management has reduced the incidence of hip fractures, the growth of the senior population is making these injuries more common than ever. Hip fractures are expected to continue increasing in number from the current 330,000 per year to over 550,000
by 2040.

Hip fracture morbidity and mortality

Many patients lose independence after a hip fracture, and the mortality rate at one year past the date of injury is 20 – 25%. It is with this significant public health concern in mind that we instituted the Fragility Fracture Program at Saint Francis. This program was developed by a multidisciplinary team with the goal of reducing complications from hip fractures, reducing variations in care, and instituting performance improvement measures. In addition, the Program hosts a nurse practitioner who serves as Clinical Coordinator, tasked with the population health aspects of fragility fracture reduction: falls risk assessment education, as well as osteoporosis education, screening and management.  

Avoiding Complications with Reduced Time to Surgery

Reducing Time To Surgery (TTS) following a hip fracture has been proven to reduce complications of immobility, such as pneumonia, venous thromboembolism, decubitus ulcers, and urinary tract infections. The national average for TTS in these cases is 36 hours. We have reduced our TTS to substantially below that average, and as a result have seen the following reductions:

  • Major complication reduction to 4.9%
  • Urinary tract infections reduced to 2.5%
  • Pneumonia reduction to 2.5%
  • Pressure ulcers reduced to 0.8%
  • DVT reduced to 0%
  • Mortality decrease to 1.6%
  • Our current length of stay is 5.1 days, against a national average of 6.5.