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Characteristics and outcomes of hospitalised patients with vertebral fragility fractures: a systematic review.

Age Ageing. 2018 Jan 01;47(1):17-25 Authors: Ong T, Kantachuvesiri P, Sahota O, Gladman JRF

Background: the complex management for patients presenting to hospital with vertebral fragility fractures provides justification for the development of specific services for them. A systematic review was undertaken to determine the incidence of hospital admission, patient characteristics and health outcomes of vertebral fragility fracture patients to inform the development of such a service. Methods: non-randomised studies of vertebral fragility fracture in hospital were included. Searches were conducted using electronic databases and citation searching of the included papers. Results: a total of 19 studies were included. The incidence of hospital admission varied from 2.8 to 19.3 per 10,000/year. The average patient age was 81 years, the majority having presented with a fall. A diagnosis of osteoporosis or previous fragility fracture was reported in around one-third of patients. Most patients (75% men and 78% women) had five or more co-pathologies. Most patients were managed non-operatively with a median hospital length of stay of 10 days. One-third of patients were started on osteoporosis treatment. Inpatient and 1-year mortality was between 0.9 and 3.5%, and 20 and 27%, respectively, between 34 and 50% were discharged from hospital to a care facility. Many patients were more dependent with activities of daily living on discharge compared to their pre-admission level. Older age and increasing comorbidities was associated with longer hospital stay and higher mortality. Conclusion: these findings indicate that specific hospital services for patients with vertebral fragility fractures should take into consideration local hospitalisation rates for the condition, and should be multifaceted-providing access to diagnostic, therapeutic, surgical and rehabilitation interventions. PMID: 29253103 [PubMed - in process]

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