Loyola University Hospital in Chicago is launching an interdisciplinary Geriatric Fracture Program to reduce hospital stays and complications from broken hips and other age-related fractures.

At Loyola, the goal is to begin surgery to repair a fracture within 24 hours whenever possible, and within 48 hours in all cases, said orthopaedic surgeon Erika Mitchell, MD, who initiated the program.

The Geriatric Fracture Program is developing protocols to assess surgical risks and address underlying health conditions, so that surgery can be performed as safely and as soon as possible, said hospitalist Theresa Kristopaitis, MD.

As more and more baby boomers reach retirement age, there will be a sudden and dramatic increase in the number of patients who experience fragility fractures due to age and osteoporosis. "I think the health-care system is under-prepared for this," Mitchell said.

Loyola’s program puts it at the forefront of treating fractures in the elderly, said Pauline Camacho, MD, director of Loyola’s Osteoporosis and Metabolic Bone Disease Center.

"Osteoporotic fractures are a huge and costly burden to the health care system," Camacho said. "Programs such as ours will have an impact on reducing this burden. We are hoping other hospitals will follow our lead."

[Source: Loyola University Health System via Medical News Today]