Preventing the Next Fracture

One tough break leads to another. How do you decrease your risk of having another fracture once you have broken a bone? An international expert task force convened by the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research released their answer today.

Fracture Liaison Services

The task force calls for health care providers to aggressively identify and provide care for the millions of people who have suffered their first broken bone or fracture in order to prevent any more fractures. The task force identified a system of patient care coordination called “fracture liaison services” as the most effective solution. Research shows these teams focused on bone health improve assessment and treatment after an initial fracture occurs. As a result, the likelihood of additional broken bones decreases.

The task force is urging health care providers to routinely provide osteoporosis testing and initiate treatment with medicines if needed for all men and women over the age of 50 who have suffered a fracture. One major goal is a 20 percent reduction in hip fractures by 2020, when a wave of fractures is expected because of the aging of our population.

20/20 Vision

The National Bone Health Alliance (NBHA) is made up of multiple organizations and groups including 4BoneHealth is spearheading an awareness campaign called “2 Million 2 Many.” Two million bone breaks occur each year in the United States in adults over the age of 50. Their campaign is designed with a focus of “20/20” vision. The goal is to reduce fractures 20% by the year 2020.

Breaking a Bone is a Red Flag

Breaking a bone after the age of 50 is a red flag that you need to take action to prevent another broken bone from occurring. Yes, you may have hit the sidewalk hard when you fell, but your bone should not have broken. Talk with your doctor if you have broken a bone after the age of 50 and are not doing something proactive to decrease the risk of it happening again.

Source: Eisman JA et al for the ASBMR Task Force on Secondary Fracture Prevention. Making the first fracture the last fracture: ASBMR task force report on secondary fracture prevention. Journal of Bone and Mineral Research. Article first published online: 26 JUL 2012 | DOI: 10.1002/jbmr.1698