Geriatric Long Bone Fractures

Chapter

Abstract

Long bone fractures in the elderly are uncommon. According to a retrospective database review performed by Keller et al. [1], fractures of the ribs, distal radius, pelvic ring, facial bones, proximal humerus, clavicle, ankle, and sacrum were the most common fractures in patients over age 65. Although uncommon, fractures of the tibial and femoral diaphysis can have devastating functional effects on elderly patients and have increased rates of morbidity and mortality compared to equivalent fractures in younger patients [2]. Schatzker et al. [3] in their 1974 review of 68 patients with distal femur fractures recommended cast treatment for all elderly patients with easily reducible fractures and described using internal fixation in patients with osteoporosis due to the risks of implant failure, malunion, and nonunion. Since that time, treatment of elderly patients with diaphyseal fractures of the tibia and femur has changed dramatically. That being said, as is the case with all implants in osteoporotic bone, true fixation may be difficult without supplemental fixation. Treatment depends on the patient’s overall functional status with the goal of early mobilization and pain control.

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Silver State OrthopedicsLas VegasUSA
  2. 2.Allegheny Health NetworkDrexel University College of MedicinePhiladelphiaUSA

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