Finding a \”Youth Factor\” to Improve Fracture Healing in Older Adults

Scientists discover a ‘youth-factor’ in blood cells to speed up fracture repair

A child’s convalescence after a broken bone can be short, but painful. For older adults, the process can be long and even life-threatening.

Public health priorities include finding ways to accelerate bone repair. This could save lives and reduce health care costs. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that over 800,000 people a year suffer fall injuries including broken hips. These hospitalizations average $30,000.

The study’s senior author, Benjamin Alman, M.D. chair of Duke’s Department of Orthopedic Surgery, said that delayed fracture healing was a significant health problem in older people. Strategies to speed up the repair process and avoid the need for further surgeries to heal the patient improve outcomes.


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