Every year over 300 000 people in England and Wales over the age of 50 sustain a fragility fracture.1 This figure includes 66 668 hip fractures.2 Fragility fractures are ‘fractures that occur after low trauma (equivalent to a fall from standing height or less), excluding skull, face, fingers and toes’.3
Fragility factures can be life changing. Around 30% of people who sustain a fragility fracture will not survive a year.1 Sustaining a fragility fracture doubles the risk of having another fracture and that fracture is most likely to occur within two years.4 Around 50% of people require a walking aid for the first time following a fracture. Around 20% of people who sustain a fragility fracture will move to a care home.5
Behind every statistic there are real people. This article will use a case history to illustrate what care, support and treatment community nurses can provide to reduce the risk of further falls and fractures and to enable an individual to recover following a fragility fracture.