Own the fall: AOA critical issues Journal Article uri icon


  • Falls are the most common cause of injury to older patients, resulting in >3 million emergency room visits per year and 290,000 hip fractures annually in the United States. Orthopaedic surgeons care for the majority of these patients; however, they are rarely involved in the assessment of fall risk and providing prevention strategies. Falls also occur perioperatively (e.g., in patients with arthritis and those undergoing arthroplasty). Preoperatively, up to 40% of patients awaiting joint arthroplasty sustain a fall, and 20% to 40% have a fall postoperatively. Risk factors for falls include intrinsic factors such as age and comorbidities that are not modifiable as well as extrinsic factors, including medication reconciliation, improvement in the environment, and the management of modifiable comorbidities that can be optimized. Simple in-office fall assessment tools are available that can be adapted for the orthopaedic practice and be used to identify patients who would benefit from rehabilitation. Orthopaedic surgeons should incorporate these strategies to improve care and to reduce fall risk and associated adverse events.

Link to Article

publication date

  • 2021