CHESTERTON | May is National Osteoporosis Awareness and Prevention Month. Although an estimated 9 million adults in the U.S. have osteoporosis and an additional 43 million have low bone mass, most will go undiagnosed and untreated. A broken bone, also known as an osteoporotic or fragility fracture, is a serious complication of osteoporosis and often the first sign that a person has the disease. Unfortunately, only 20% of the nearly two million individuals who experience fragility fractures each year are tested or treated for osteoporosis. Those fractures are costly; nearly $18 billion in related costs every year. By 2025, experts predict those numbers to rise to nearly 3 million fractures and $25.3 billion in costs each year. It’s time to bring attention and awareness to this silent public health epidemic.
Lakeshore Bone and Joint has taken steps to ensure its osteoporotic fracture patients receive the treatment and care they deserve through participation in The American Orthopaedic Association’s (AOA) Own the Bone® quality improvement (QI) program. Through this QI program Lakeshore Bone and Joint received the tools to establish a secondary fracture prevention program, or fracture liaison service (FLS), with the goal of preventing future fractures. FLS programs use a care coordinator, often a nurse practitioner or physician’s assistant, to help ensure that fragility fracture patients are identified and receive appropriate evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment.
Through Own the Bone, Lakeshore Bone and Joint focuses on specific evidence-based measures to help improve patient care after a fracture, including: educating patients on nutrition, physical activity, and lifestyle changes; recommending and initiating bone mineral density testing; discussing pharmacotherapy and treatment (when applicable); and providing written communication to the patient and their family physician regarding the patient’s specific risk factors and treatment recommendations.
Through their enrollment in Own the Bone, Lakeshore Bone and Joint has demonstrated a commitment to helping patients understand their risk for future fractures and steps they can take to prevent them.
Lakeshore Bone and Joint is featured in US News and World Report as a center of excellence for post-fracture care for patient with fragility fractures. It is listed among the Star Performers for Orthopedic Post-Fracture care meeting all ten out of ten objectives. Natalie Eddy, DNP, FNP-BC is a nurse practitioner osteoporosis specialist. She is quoted as “passionate” about bone health, treatment and prevention of fragility fractures.” She has appointments available for anyone wanting to discuss their bone health and risk of future fractures.
To help celebrate National Osteoporosis Awareness and Prevention Month this May, Lakeshore Bone and Joint, in Chesterton is providing open scheduling for patients who would like to have their bone density. If you have never had a bone density and are female 65 years old or older, please come by or call for a bone density scan. Any male who is 70 years old or older, can also have a bone density. All bone densities should be done every two years.
What can patients do to protect their bones?
• Get adequate calcium and vitamin D, either through diet or supplements, if necessary.
• Engage in regular weight bearing and muscle strengthening exercise.
• Avoid smoking and limit your alcohol to 2-3 drinks per day.
• Have you or a loved one had a broken bone over age 50? Talk to your health care provider and get a bone density screening to determine if osteoporosis might be the cause and learn additional steps you might need to take to prevent future fractures.