Osteoporosis often overlooked in persons with wrist fracture

Dec 05, 2009

Fracture-managing physicians are less likely to evaluate and treat patients who have wrist fractures for osteoporosis than those who have hip or spine fractures. Although after a fragility fracture appropriate treatment can curtail the risk of a second fracture by about 50%, treatment often is inadequate, especially for persons who have nonvertebral fractures.

Fracture-managing physicians are less likely to evaluate and treat patients who have wrist fractures for osteoporosis than those who have hip or spine fractures. Although after a fragility fracture appropriate treatment can curtail the risk of a second fracture by about 50%, treatment often is inadequate, especially for persons who have nonvertebral fractures.

Gong and associates performed a retrospective analysis of women older than 50 years who had fragility fractures of the hip, spine, and wrist. They also checked how often the women had bone scans and received osteoporosis medication.

Bone density scans were performed in 22.5%, 28.8%, and 8.7% of the patients with hip, spine, and wrist fractures, respectively. Similar percentages of patients in each group (22.4%, 30.1%, and 7.5% of patients with hip, spine, and wrist fractures, respectively) received osteoporosis medication. Thus, persons with wrist fractures were least likely to have their osteoporosis identified and managed.

The authors noted that the Korean medical care system differs from that of the United States in that patients with fractures are managed directly by a musculoskeletal specialist and that additional studies and intervention programs are needed to improve the care gap, starting with the physicians who are responsible for fracture management.

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