Broken bones (fractures) in old age / geriatric traumatology

Falls and fractures in old age are a major challenge. A broken bone in an elderly person can be a dramatic event that requires hospitalization. After an accident-related hospitalization, the goals are to recover as quickly as possible, reintegrate socially into the old environment and regain mobility. In older patients in particular, this healing process often does not have the desired result. Some of the patients remain in need of care.

The Center for Geriatric Traumatology was founded to optimize the success of treatment. On the surgical side, the geriatric traumatology team headed by Prof. Dr. C. Hierholzer cares for patients in close cooperation with colleagues from the geriatric department. The team specializes in the treatment and surgical care of patients aged 70+ with the following fractures, among others:

  • Upper arm fractures
  • Vertebral fractures
  • Femoral neck and femur fractures
  • Pelvic fractures

Goal: Rapid surgical care and early rehabilitative treatment

The focus is on rapid surgical care and early rehabilitative treatment with the aim of restoring the patient’s independence and quality of life after a trauma as far as possible to what they had before the accident. Right from the start of treatment, the surgeons work together with all the specialist disciplines involved, such as geriatrics, physiotherapy, anesthesia, intensive care medicine, social services and other specialists in an interdisciplinary manner in order to achieve the best possible treatment success.

Outpatient follow-up

As older patients with a first fracture have a very high risk of suffering another fracture, all patients undergo a comprehensive assessment including muscle and bone health at the Test and Diagnostic Center of the University Hospital Zurich as part of the first outpatient follow-up (4-8 weeks after discharge from the University Hospital).
The aim is to initiate effective therapy in collaboration with the family doctor to prevent further fractures. It has been proven that this concept can prevent many complications and achieve or regain maximum independence.


Certificate ATZ DIO CERT Aging Trauma Center Certificate

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For referrer

University Hospital Zurich
Department of Traumatology
Raemistrasse 100
8091 Zurich

Tel. +41 44 255 27 55
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