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Women want answers, but what questions should be asked?
Date:5/3/2010

One in two women in the United States will have an osteoporosis-related fracture in her lifetime (1). However, according to a review article published in the May 2010 issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (JAAOS), only a few of these women will be tested and treated for osteoporosis, which if identified and treated, could dramatically decrease their risk of future fractures.

"Less than 10 percent of patients who sustain a fracture receive information about osteoporosis treatment, yet these are the same group of patients who are at a very high risk for future hip, spine or wrist fractures," said lead author Evan F. Ekman, MD, president of Southern Orthopaedic Sports Medicine and medical director of the Palmetto Health Alliance/Parkridge Surgery Center in Columbia, S.C. "Because orthopaedic surgeons are the physicians who treat these fractures, we have a tremendous opportunity to educate these patients about their bone health, and urge them to get tested for osteoporosis and receive treatment for the disease to avoid future fractures."

According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation:

  • An estimated 10 million people in the United States have osteoporosis, and nearly 34 million more are at a higher risk due to low bone mass.
  • The cost of fractures in the United States was $17 billion in 2005, with 2.5 million medical office visits, 430,000 hospital admissions and 180,000 nursing home admissions.
  • There is a high mortality rate for patients who have experienced a hip fracture. The 1-year mortality rate following a hip fracture is estimated to be between 15 percent and 33 percent.

Dr. Ekman added that post-surgical patients who receive information about appropriate osteoporosis management and who are given questions they can ask their primary care physicians, see improved treatment rates.

"Women should not be afraid to walk into their doctors' offices armed with a list
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Contact: Lauren L Pearson
pearson@aaos.org
847-384-4031
American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
Source:Eurekalert

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