Minimal Trauma Fractures in Older Nursing Home Residents: The Interaction of Functional Status, Trauma, and Site of Fracture

Richard S. Kane, Edith A. Burns, James S. Goodwin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE: This study was conducted to determine the incidence of long bone fractures in institutionalized older persons and to describe preceding traumatic events and the functional status of individuals sustaining fractures. DESIGN: A 1‐year, prospective, cumulative incidence survey. SETTING: Eleven skilled nursing care facilities in the state of Wisconsin. PATIENTS: All residents of the 11 facilities. MEASUREMENTS: All incident reports of long bone fractures, description of events preceding the fractures, and functional status of the fracture cases. In addition, demographic and medical information was collected on fracture cases and the general nursing home population. MAIN RESULTS: Overall long bone fracture incidence was 3.52 per 100 subjects per year. Minimal trauma fracture incidence was 0.84 per 100 subjects per year. Fracture location was significantly related to type of trauma. Functional status was significantly related to fracture location and to the type of trauma preceding the fracture. Minimal trauma fractures occurred in individuals who were less mobile and more likely to be bed‐bound, and the location was more likely to be the lower extremity below the hip. CONCLUSION: This is the first prospective survey of long bone and spontaneous fracture incidence rates in multiple nursing home facilities. Minimal trauma fractures are common in the nursing home, and most have no clear precipitating factors other than severely impaired mobility. 1995 The American Geriatrics Society

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)156-159
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of the American Geriatrics Society
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1995

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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