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Fragility Fractures

NYU Winthrop Hospital’s Fragility Fracture Team provides care for patients who have been admitted to the hospital with a fragility fracture. This multidisciplinary team consists of:

  • Board Certified Orthopedic Surgeons
  • Medical Doctors
  • Surgical Residents
  • Orthopedic Physician Assistants
  • Nurse Practitioners
  • Fragility Fracture Specialist
  • Physical and Occupational Therapists
  • Case Managers
  • Discharge Planners

These highly trained professionals collaborate to ensure that your needs are met efficiently and expertly while you recover and will care for you from admission to your discharge to home or a rehabilitation facility and beyond.

Hospital Course

As part of your hospital course, you will receive physical therapy – an extremely important part of your rehabilitation process. A physical therapist will establish a plan of care for you that is specific to you. Because we believe that patient education is one of the most important steps in your recovery, we will teach you how to prevent another fracture from occurring.

When the time is right, our case managers and discharge planners work with you, your family, and your orthopedic surgeon to ensure a safe discharge once you are ready to leave the hospital.

What Happens After The Hospital?

Once you have recovered enough to leave the hospital, usually 2-4 days, you may need specialized rehabilitation and nursing care before you are ready to return home. NYU Winthrop physicians care for our patients at several local rehabilitation facilities to ensure continuation of the treatment plan initiated while you were in the hospital. Our team of discharge coordinators will help you and your family decide which facility is best for you.

What Is A Fragility Fracture?

According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation, a fracture that occurs after a fall from a standing height is a fragility frac­ture. Bones should be able to tolerate a fall from this height without fracturing unless there is an underlying condition that weak­ens bone structure, such as osteopenia or osteoporosis. The most common areas where fractures occur include the hip, spine and wrist.

Osteopenia/Osteoporosis

Bone is living tissue that is constantly being absorbed and replaced with new bone. Osteopenia/Osteoporosis occurs when the creation of new bone does not keep up with the removal of old bone. The result is weak and brittle bones that fracture easily and with very little effort.

Diagnosis

A non-invasive and non-painful test called a DEXA scan is required to measure bone density. Additionally, blood tests to measure vitamin D, calcium and other bone markers will be performed.

Treatment

If you are diagnosed with osteopenia/osteoporosis, it is important to see your Fragility Fracture Specialist (fragility fracture nurse practitioner, primary care doctor or specialty doctor) for an individualized treatment plan to strengthen your bone and prevent another fracture. Treatment options are multimodal and can be individualized to your specific needs. Treatment includes calcium and Vitamin D supplementation, prescription medication, fall prevention, a regular exercise program, and lifestyle changes.

Following up with your fragility fracture specialist is important to diagnose and treat osteopenia/osteoporosis.

Our Fragility Fracture Service offers convenient telemedicine and office visits to accommodate you and your family’s busy schedule.

Fall Prevention

Preventing another fall and fracture is one of the most important things you can do for yourself.

Below are five steps to help prevent future falls:

Fragility of the bone leads to a higher chance of falling. Take steps to prevent and treat bone loss. Good nutrition and exercise will help.

Aging decreases stamina, mobility and flexibility. Be active. Physical activity is the key to longevity. KEEP MOVING!

Loss of muscle mass leads to loss of sense of balance, particularly in the legs. Retrain your balance everyday with balance and muscle-strengthening exercises.

Loss of vision is more likely to occur as you age. Have an eye exam yearly.

Safety first. Look at your environment both inside and outside your home. Review your medications with your health care provider, get up slowly, have your phone and emergency contact information with you at all times.

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