Orthogeriatrics in the management of frail older patients with a fragility fracture

Osteoporos Int. 2015 Oct;26(10):2387-99. doi: 10.1007/s00198-015-3166-2. Epub 2015 May 19.


This review article examines the role of orthogeriatric management for frail older patients with a fragility fracture. The history of orthogeriatrics and its application in clinical practice around the world is reported, and an evidence-based evaluation for the effect of orthogeriatric management on patient morbidity and mortality is also provided. It has been more than 50 years since the role of the geriatrician in the management of patients with a hip fracture was first described. The evidence that supports an orthogeriatric model of care has grown exponentially over the last decade. This evidence base is primarily related to hip fractures and demonstrates reduced morbidity and mortality rates amongst patients managed with a recognised model of orthogeriatric care. The societal and economic burden of hip fracture has led to health economic evaluations within this field, many of which have concluded that orthogeriatric management results in cost-effective clinical practice. Based on existing clinical and economic research, national clinical practice guidelines have been developed in several countries which recommend orthogeriatric participation in the management of older patients with a hip fracture. Compliance with such guidance has already demonstrated improved patient outcomes. Although the pathogenesis and prognosis of other types of fragility fracture may be as poor, there is a dearth of clinical research that evaluates the effect of orthogeriatric management on such injuries. Looking to the future, orthogeriatric management is likely to become more widespread, and the robust collection and reporting of patient outcomes from national registries will provide a greater understanding of the impact of orthogeriatric models in the care of all frail older patients with any type of fragility fracture.

Keywords: Fragility fractures; Frailty; Orthogeriatrics.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Bibliometrics
  • Delivery of Health Care, Integrated / organization & administration*
  • Evidence-Based Medicine / methods
  • Frail Elderly*
  • Health Services for the Aged / organization & administration*
  • Hip Fractures / therapy
  • Hospital Mortality
  • Humans
  • Osteoporotic Fractures / therapy*
  • Patient Care Team / organization & administration