Global Forum: Fractures in the Elderly

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Fractures in the elderly are increasing in incidence and becoming a major health issue in many countries. With an increasing number of the elderly living to an older age, the problems associated with fractures will continue to increase. We describe the epidemiology of fractures in the elderly and identify six fracture patterns in the population of patients who are sixty-five years of age or older. We also analyzed multiple fractures and open fractures in the elderly and we show that both increase in incidence with older age. The incidence of open fractures in elderly women is equivalent to that in young men. Many factors, including patient socioeconomic deprivation, increase the incidence of fractures in the elderly. More than 90% of fractures follow low-energy falls and the mortality is considerable. Mortality increases with older age and medical comorbidities, but there is also evidence that it relates to premature discharge from the hospital.

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