Highland’s Geriatric Fracture Center: A Care Concept Whose Time Has Come

Perhaps the best example of the innovations taking place at the Geriatric Fracture Center is the center itself. It’s the first of its kind in the United States, but not the last, say Dr. Stephen Kates and Dr. Daniel Mendelson, co-directors of the center.

“When I talk about this concept with colleagues from other hospitals, the interest is huge,” says Dr. Kates. “This is truly an idea whose time has come, especially when you consider that we’re on the eve of major growth in the senior population—and fracture cases—as the first wave of Baby Boomers begin turning 65 a few years from now.”

Dr. Mendelson adds that older adults have a very different set of needs than younger patients. “With 10 experienced geriatricians on staff at the center, we’re able to provide an added measure of care to ensure that any underlying medical conditions a patient may have are carefully monitored and attended to.”

At the Forefront of Fracture Care Technology

Doctors in the Geriatric Fracture Center are actively involved in research and clinical trials that are helping to advance and improve the standard of care for older people who suffer fractures.

For example, Highland was one of only a handful of hospitals in the world selected to evaluate the Dynamic Helical Hip System (DHHS), a new implant design for repairing hip fractures. The device, which won AO approval in 2004, makes repair of hip fractures a reality for elderly patients who previously were not good candidates for procedures using conventional hip screw technology.

The new device is a huge technological leap in hip fracture surgery and will improve patient care and recovery time. Offering several advantages over traditional screw-type implants that are currently used to treat hip fractures, this device:

  • Provides better stability when plates are inserted next to the fractured bone, providing less of a chance of movement or loosening of the bone and the plates.
  • Requires less torque and less removal of good bone to insert the helical blade, which can reduce the risk of complications during surgery.
  • Provides patients with fracture repair that is much more resistant to failure than conventional devices.

Spreading Our Knowledge

Doctors from our team are developing a national teaching program to share their knowledge and methodology in treating geriatric fracture patients with doctors from other hospitals throughout the country. This, combined with a unique database being created by our doctors to document treatment and outcomes of fracture cases, will help to raise the standard of care for older fracture patients everywhere.

Read about the training course we offered through the International AO Foundation featuring newly designed osteoporotic bones

See for Yourself…

As demonstrated in this short video, using an apple instead of a proximal humerus, fracture repair has taken a major step forward with the Geriatric Fracture Center’s adoption of the locking compression plates as the standard treatment for broken bones. In the first part of the video, notice how easy it is to make a conventional screw plate device fail by pulling it away from the apple. In sharp contrast, as shown in the second segment, the proximal humerus locking compression plate that has been affixed to the apple is dramatically more resistant to failure, even under extreme force.

Scroll to Top