Navigate Up

Meet Our Physicians

Alan H. Klein, MD

Orthopaedic Surgeon
Special Interest Area: Geriatric Fractures

Did you always want to be an orthopaedic surgeon?

Actually, I never planned to become a doctor. As a mechanical engineering major at Carnegie Mellon, I dreamed about designing cars. But a summer internship in the orthopaedic research lab at the University of Pittsburgh changed my life forever.

How did you become interested in geriatric fractures?

Early in my medical career, I became very interested in the Gamma Nail, a technology that’s used to perform minimally invasive hip fracture stabilization surgery. Most of my patients needing that surgery were older adults.

Today, we’re seeing more hip fractures than ever as “Baby Boomers” reach their 70s and 80s — and those numbers will continue to grow (western Pennsylvania may have the second oldest population in the country).

Do you have a philosophy of care as a physician?

I’m committed to a patient-centered program of care that treats the whole person, not just the fracture. I try to get to know the needs, lifestyle, and goals of my patients to achieve the outcomes they want.

I’m currently working on creating a comprehensive “Hip Fracture Program” designed to offer total support for older adults, from surgery through a successful return home, marshalling the expertise, resources, and research of both UPMC and the University of Pittsburgh.

How common are falls and hip fractures?

About one-third of adults over age 65 fall each year. Falls often leads to fractures, particularly in people who have osteoporosis — where bones become so weak and brittle that even a ground level fall can result in a hip fracture. Hip fractures are a global problem, because they frequently lead to a loss of independence — or even death.

What can people do to reduce their risk of fractures?

There are three important steps that people should take. First, be aware of osteoporosis and the risk of fractures. If you are a woman over age 65 or a man over 70, and you haven’t already had a DXA scan, or bone scan — get one.

Second, stay active! Everyone needs to keep moving with weight bearing activities, such as walking.

Third, have a home safety evaluation done by a professional. Get rid of throw rugs and extension cords, and make sure your lighting is adequate.

What about diet and nutrition?

One of the best things you can do to improve bone health is to eat a healthy diet with adequate amounts of calcium and vitamin D. In Pittsburgh, sometimes, we don’t have enough sunshine. We need to supplement our diets with vitamin D.

To learn more about osteoporosis and hip fractures, or to make an appointment with one of our physicians, please call
1-877-471-0935.

UPMC | Affiliated with the University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences | Supplemental content provided by Healthwise, Incorporated. To learn more, visit www.healthwise.org

For help in finding a doctor or health service that suits your needs, call the UPMC Referral Service at 412-647-UPMC (8762) or 1-800-533-UPMC (8762). Select option 1.

UPMC is an equal opportunity employer. UPMC policy prohibits discrimination or harassment on the basis of race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, age, sex, genetics, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, familial status, disability, veteran status, or any other legally protected group status. Further, UPMC will continue to support and promote equal employment opportunity, human dignity, and racial, ethnic, and cultural diversity. This policy applies to admissions, employment, and access to and treatment in UPMC programs and activities. This commitment is made by UPMC in accordance with federal, state, and/or local laws and regulations.

Medical information made available on UPMC.com is not intended to be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. You should not rely entirely on this information for your health care needs. Ask your own doctor or health care provider any specific medical questions that you have. Further, UPMC.com is not a tool to be used in the case of an emergency. If an emergency arises, you should seek appropriate emergency medical services.

UPMC
Pittsburgh, PA, USA | UPMC.com