Fragility Fracture

Appointment New Patient Appointment or 214-645-8300

UT Southwestern Medical Center’s Fragility Fracture Program mobilizes experts in every facet of the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of fragility fractures. We also offer a unique program for older adults that reduces complications.

Our goal is to help all of our patients regain function, avoid future fractures, and maximize their quality of life.

Comprehensive Care for Maximum Recovery

A fragility fracture is a fracture resulting from a fall from standing height or less. These fractures, which most commonly occur at the hip, spine, or wrist, are an indication that the body’s bones have been weakened by an underlying illness.   

Roughly half of all women and up to one-quarter of all men will suffer a fragility fracture in their lifetime. People who have had a previous fragility fracture are twice as likely to suffer a fracture in the future. Especially in older patients, fragility fractures can lead to increased risk of mental and physical problems and a significant decrease in mobility and quality of life. Some fragility fractures can have a mortality rate as high as 33 percent within the first year.

After a fracture, it is essential that patients be prepared as quickly as possible for surgical intervention. Once the fracture has been managed, the immediate next step should be planning to prevent future fractures.

The UT Southwestern Fragility Fracture Program includes a team that specializes in handling treatment, prevention, and ongoing medical management of the complex conditions that often accompany these fractures. These multidisciplinary experts include internists, geriatricians, endocrinologists, anesthesiologists, and fellowship-trained orthopaedic surgeons. We also offer consultations for physicians in our community.

Connecting Orthopedic and Geriatric Care for Seniors

UT Southwestern is providing new hope for older adults who suffer fractures and the complications that can result from those injuries with the new Returning Seniors to Orthopedic Excellence (RESTORE) Program. This program is the first of its kind in North Texas.

RESTORE Program

Older adults are at higher risk for fragility fractures and complications that can result from these injuries. UT Southwestern’s unique RESTORE (Returning Seniors to Orthopaedic Excellence) Program provides coordinated care to improve outcomes and reduce hospital stays. Directed by Megan Sorich, D.O., who has special fellowship training in orthopaedic geriatric trauma, the program is the only one in North Texas focusing on the musculoskeletal health of older people.

All patients who qualify become part RESTORE Program – patients don’t need to request the services. Older patients with a fragility fracture receive expedited care in the Emergency Department, including a consultation from our geriatric and orthopaedic teams. We use a pain management program that focuses on non-narcotic medicine to reduce delirium, a common side effect from fragility fracture treatments in older people. If needed, we facilitate surgery as quickly as possible. Our goal is to have patients moving soon after surgery to help them get home faster.

After treatment, our nutritionists provide dietary guidance and we schedule a follow-up visit to help prevent future fragility fractures.

Diagnosis

Our specialists conduct a careful screening to determine the underlying cause of a fragility fracture.

The most common cause of fragility fractures is osteoporosis, but other causes include:

Our comprehensive evaluation might include laboratory testing of a patient’s vitamin D, calcium, and parathyroid and thyroid hormone levels, all of which can affect bone fragility. Other tests might be ordered as well, based on each individual patient’s needs.

Treatment

Treatment for fragility fractures includes:

  • Treatment for the fracture itself
  • Management of the underlying illness
  • Treatment of any complications that arise from the fracture

UT Southwestern surgeons and rehabilitation specialists prioritize rapid stabilization of the fracture to help patients regain as much function as possible, as quickly as possible. This treatment usually includes:

  • Surgery, sometimes including joint replacement
  • Preoperative assessment and acute regional anesthesia provided by our anesthesiologists, using enhanced recovery after surgery (ERAS) protocols
  • Consultation by our nutrition services to optimize healing through dietary management
  • Co-management with our internal medicine and geriatric medicine teams
  • Expedited physical and occupational rehabilitation
  • Postoperative pain services
  • Follow up with our mineral metabolism team to prevent future fractures and improve bone health

Medical treatment can help manage the underlying causes of a patient’s bone fragility, improve bone stability, and prevent future fractures. Medical therapies might include:

  • Bisphosphonates
  • Calcium supplementation
  • Vitamin D supplementation
  • Nutritional support

Find a Clinical Trial

Search for opportunities to participate in a senior health research study.

StudyFinder

Award-Winning Care

We’re one of the world’s top academic medical centers, with a unique legacy of innovation in patient care and scientific discovery.  

Why UT Southwestern

MyChart

Our secure online portal for patients makes it easy to communicate with your doctor, access test results, and more.

Log In

Showing 1 locations

Orthopaedic Surgery Clinic

at Outpatient Building 1801 Inwood Road, 1st Floor
Dallas, Texas 75390
214-645-3300 Directions Parking Info