Foot and ankle fractures in the elderly patient
Authors: Urruela, Adriana; Egol, Kenneth
Source: Aging Health, 1 August 2011, vol. 7, no. 4, pp. 591-605(15)
Abstract:In 2009, 36.9 million people living in the USA were over the age of 65 years. It is speculated that by the year 2030, that number will jump to 72.1 million. The increased physical demand of the aging American population has been accompanied by an amplification in the number and severity of ankle and foot fractures in the elderly. This article reviews the various issues associated with ankle and foot fractures in this potentially complex patient population, focusing on risk factors for fracture and the continued debate over surgical versus nonsurgical management. The higher level of activity of the aging American population has significantly increased the incidence of ankle and foot fractures in the elderly. Although certain authors have suggested that osteoporosis is the single strongest risk factor for both foot and ankle fractures, it appears that lifestyle factors such as an increased BMI and a propensity for falling play a larger role in ankle fractures, while foot fractures are more typical fragility fractures. Caused by the prevalence of medical comorbidities in older patients, controversy exists over the optimal management of these fractures. While early investigators cited unacceptable postoperative complication rates and poor outcome following surgical management, more recent studies have demonstrated superior outcome following operative treatment. These authors agree that chronological age should not dictate the management of foot and ankle fractures, but rather level of functional activity and the presence of co-morbid medical conditions. Based on current evidence, the literature supports the surgical treatment of displaced ankle, calcaneus, metatarsal, talus and Lisfranc fractures in geriatric patients who are surgical candidates.
Document Type: Research Article
Affiliations: 1New York University Hospital for Joint Diseases, 301 East 17 Sreet, Room: 1402, New York, NY 10003, USA
Publication date: August 1, 2011