Treat Osteoporosis, Save Your Hips

A new study shows that aggressive screening and treatment of osteoporosis can help to prevent hip fractures. The researchers claim that their three step approach could help cut hip fractures by up to 25%.

The first step was performing a bone scan. Researchers performed bone scans on all female patients over the age of 65, all male patients over the age of 70, all patients over 50 with a history of fragility fractures, and various other patients on high doses of certain drugs.

The second step involved osteoporosis education and treatment. Patients received prescription drugs for their bones, along with home visits to check safety and help prevent future falls.

The third step focused on fall prevention. Patients were treated through fall-prevention programs that involved physical therapy, among other things.

More than 620,000 patients were observed over a four year period (2002-2006). The results revealed that hip fractures dropped by 37% overall, disproving the need for experimental drugs and radical treatments.

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However, according to the study team, what was required was an integrated, aggressive approach by the patient’s healthcare team. As noted in the November 2008 issue of The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery, “The first step must be a more active role by orthopaedic surgeons in osteoporosis disease management.”

If you suspect you are at risk for or might have a bone fracture or osteoporosis, here are some resources and additional reading you can print out and take to your doctor to discuss:

Sources:

Orthopaedic Management Improves the Rate of Early Osteoporosis Treatment After Hip Fracture – Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery - http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18978403

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