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Despite Geriatric Fracture, 98-Year-Old is on the Move

ettaEtta Shuman, 98, was excited about spending the summer with her husband at their lake home

in Fritzinger Town, Pennsylvania. But on June 17, 2012, Etta fell and fractured her femur, putting an end to those plans.

“Etta had a geriatric fracture of her femur,” says Anthony Balsamo, MD, orthopaedic surgeon and director of the Geriatric Fracture Care Program at Geisinger Wyoming Valley Medical Center. “Since she had previously undergone a total hip replacement and total knee replacement on that same leg, we needed to put a plate on the bone to ensure it would heal properly.”

Etta has previously had two hip replacements and two knee replacements at Geisinger Medical Center in Danville, as well as three operations on her spine. Geriatric fractures are among the most complex, which often complicates recovery.

But one would never know that in Etta’s case. “Etta is amazing,” says Dr. Balsamo. “She works out regularly and is constantly on the move. She really motivates others.”

“I can’t say enough about Dr. Balsamo because he took such good care of me,” says Etta.  “We are so blessed to have a place like Geisinger in our area.” 

Etta and Joseph are currently residents of Bonham Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Stillwater, Pennsylvania since Joseph is recovering from a bout of pneumonia. With continued good health, Etta and Joseph hope to return to their lake home this summer for some well-deserved relaxation. In the meantime, Etta and Joseph held a ceremony to renew their wedding vows in February 2013, which was their 71st wedding anniversary.