Lead Author(s): 

Meredith L. Kilgore, PhD
Sylvia I. Watkins-Castillo, PhD

While the incidence of hip fracture appears to have declined overall since the mid 1990s, as discussed in a previous section, hospital discharges from the MEPS database related to osteoporosis were 44% greater in 2009 to 2011 than they were in the years from 1996 to 1998. Recent years, however, have shown a decline after peaking in 2001 to 2003. (Reference Table 10.2 PDF CSV) This increase in hospitalizations likely reflects the increase in older population cohorts as the Boomer generation enters the prime years for fracture incidence.

In a study among Medicare beneficiaries, the 65 years and older population, experiencing hip fractures in the years 2000 to 2004, 98.2% were hospitalized in the six months following the fracture compared to 27.1% hospitalized at least once in the prior six months for other reasons.1 Thus, hip fractures were associated with a 71% increase in the probability of being hospitalized. The average length of stay for hip and upper leg (femur) fractures was more than 11 days. (Reference Tables 5.3 PDF CSV and 5.4 PDF CSV)

Percentages of Individuals Hospitalized with Six Months after Various Fracture Types Compared with Six Months Preceding the Fracture, United States 2000-2004

Average Length of Hospital Stay after Fractures, United States 2000-2004

Using recent 2011 data from the NIS hospital discharge database, an average hospital stay of 5.5 days was reported for people age 50 years and older with a primary (first) diagnosis of fragility fracture. While it might be assumed the inclusion of younger-age patients could account for this difference from the earlier study, age was not a factor in length of stay. Sex was a more significant factor, with males staying nearly a day longer than females. With the exception of wrist and arm fractures, site of the fracture was also not a factor. (Reference Table 5.5 PDF CSV)

Average Length of Hospital Stay (LOS) for Primary1 Osteoporotic Fractures for Persons Age 50 and Over, United States 2011

  • 1. Becker DJ, Yun H, Kilgore ML, et al.: Health services utilization after fractures: Recent evidence from Medicare. J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci 2010 Sep;65(9):1012-1020. PMID: 20530242


  • 2014

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