Winter months bring fractured hips

Winter months are coming, along with this comes fractured hips from simple falls.

As a nurse practitioner, bone health/osteoporosis liaison at University Orthopedics Center, I encounter osteoporosis fractures daily.

Sadly, many of the breaks I see are preventable.

It may not be a popular idea, but the fact is that health care providers have failed in treatment of osteoporosis across the United States. This is partially because no one goes to their provider complaining of osteoporosis pain.

Aside from the economic burden on Medicare, the risk of death after a second fracture is strikingly high according to the National Osteoporosis Foundation.

Of those that fracture a bone due to osteoporosis, 24% (one in five) die within 12 months. NOF further predicts by the end of 2020, 62 million Americans will have pathologically low bone density. The majority will never receive treatment and will suffer a fracture.

Research also indicates that half of women and one in four men with low bone density will suffer a hip fracture. One in five will suffer another fracture within a year, and many others will continue to face fractures throughout the rest of their lifetimes.

Even worse, many will die from complications due to a preventable fracture. Osteoporosis causes two million broken bones a year.

If you or a loved one are over the age of 65, please contact your family doctor for a bone density test. Don’t wait until you or your loved one become a statistic.

Effective treatments are available, and the earlier you find that you have shrinking bone density, the more likely the treatments are to work.

Lynn Thompson-Gregory



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