Fractures are the main causes of elderly disability and long term institution in Hong Kong. Fractures, especially hip fracture, are commonly seen in elderly. In 2003, there were 40,000 elderly admitted to the Acute and Emergency Department due to fall and one fourth of them suffered from fractrues.
The consequences of fracture is very severe. For example in hip fracture, 80% of the fractured elderly experienced functional deterioration and 30% die within 1 year after rehabilitation. Due to the slow recovery of elderly, they may need long term rehabilitation. According to our statistics, elderly fractures usually require 7 days institution on average and 80% of them are referred to the rehabilitation hospital for further treatment and training.
Apart from the long term rehabilitation, their ability of self independency and caring may also be affected after fracture. This will lower their quality of life and also causes death due to other side effects. Besides personal impairment, fractures also enhance pressure of the family, carers and the economical burden of the society. It is estimated that HK$13.5 billion medical expenditure were used every year on treating fractures.
With the aging population, the problems of elderly fracture will also increase. Action should be taken in prevention.