It’s the Fractures, Stup..
Dr Neil Binkley took this line from politics in his address to the International Society for Clinical Densitometry (ISCD) and International Osteoporosis Foundation (IOF) joint meeting yesterday. Dr Binkley is known for his blunt style and his ability to go directly to the heart of the matter.
As an orthopedic surgeon, I agree completely that the real issue is Fractures and how to Prevent them. A Fracture is a Bone Attack. It is a warning that the patient needs evaluation of their Bone Health. After a Heart Attack, nearly 100% of patients get an evaluation of their heart health. After a Bone Attack, barely 20% of patients in the USA get an evaluation of bone health – and that is for life changing hip fractures! Other fractures are far less likely to get an evaluation.
This would be a national disgrace, except that it is fairly average throughout much of the “developed” world. The percent evaluated has not changed in 10 years. Meanwhile, the total number of fractures in the USA annually is nearly 4 million. Half of these are second, third or fourth fractures in the same patient.
We know that Fracture Risk more than doubles after a first fracture. Yet we consider a fracture to be an accident. Why? It is actually a warning to check our bone health.
I have never seen a fracture patient who did not have at least one bone health issue that could be improved, thereby reducing future Fracture Risk. Sometimes that is adding a medication. Much more often we need to address Calcium, Vitamin D, or Protein intake; exercises for strengthening, conditioning, or balance.
You can prevent second fractures by getting a Complete Bone Health Evaluation. In fact, you can prevent your first fracture the same way.
Take Control of your future.
Jay Ginther, MD