Introduction: There is a lack of robust data on hospitalised acute vertebral fragility fractures.
This analysis aimed to report on the number of hospitalised vertebral fragility fractures treated
in a large UK teaching hospital. This information would support better design of hospital services
and resource allocation to manage this group of patients.
Methods: Patients aged 50 years and over hospitalised with a vertebral fragility fracture from
1/2/2016 to 31/1/2017 were identified from radiology and hospital records. Patients sustaining vertebral
fractures due to either major trauma or malignancy were excluded. Data was collected on patient
demographics, fracture details, hospitalisation details and health outcomes.
Results: 208 patients with acute vertebral fragility fractures were hospitalised over a 12 month period.
The mean (SD) age was 80.5 (11) years, of which 68% were female. 94% presented to the
Emergency Department (ED) as their first point of contact, of which 70% were subsequently hospitalised.
Two-thirds presented with a single level vertebral fracture predominantly around the thoracolumbar
region. The majority (87%) were non-operatively managed by general physicians, of
which most were under Geriatric Medicine. The median length of stay was 12 (IQR 6-20) days and
inpatient mortality was 3%. 52% of patients went on to have a bone health assessment.
Conclusion: We have reported on the number of patients presenting to hospital with an acute vertebral
fragility fracture over 12 months. This helps identify resources needed to design hospital services
to manage them adequately.