Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Wrist Fracture Patients Less Likely To Be Evaluated For Osteoporosis

Date:
October 1, 2009
Source:
American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
Summary:
A disconnect between the way wrist-fracture patients and those with a spine or hip fracture are managed and evaluated has been reviewed. The study, conducted in 2007 among 97 percent of the women in Korea, reviewed the incidence of fractures around the hip, spine, and wrist in female patients age 50 and older and the prescription frequencies of bone density scans for osteoporosis, along with the use of medications for its treatment.

A study published in the October 2009 issue of the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery suggests a disconnect between the way wrist-fracture patients and those with a spine or hip fracture are managed and evaluated. The study, conducted in 2007 among 97 percent of the women in Korea, reviewed the incidence of fractures around the hip, spine, and wrist in female patients age 50 and older and the prescription frequencies of bone density scans for osteoporosis, along with the use of medications for its treatment.

"Our review of this national cohort indicates that patients with a wrist fracture are less likely to be evaluated and managed for osteoporosis than those with a hip or spine fracture," stated lead study author Hyunsik Gong, MD, in the Department of Orthopaedic surgery, Seoul National University, Bundang Hospital, Seoul National University College of Medicine in South Korea. "Although the health system in the United States is different from that in Korea, physicians treating fractures are the initiators of osteoporosis care in both countries. Women over age 50, who are diagnosed with a wrist fracture should be evaluated for osteoporosis, since they have a higher risk of fracturing other bones."

Osteoporosis is a major health problem affecting 28 million Americans and contributing to an estimated 1.5 million fractures each year. The distal radius of the wrist is the most commonly broken bone in the arm, and fractures usually happen when a fall causes someone to land on their outstretched hands. Appropriate treatment can reduce the risk of future fracture in patients with osteoporosis by 40 to 60 percent. The study found that for women, over the age of 50:

  • only 2.8 percent of those who had a distal radial fracture, underwent a bone mineral density scan; and
  • only 22.9 percent were prescribed osteoporosis medication.

"Our hypothesis was that physicians who treat fractures of the hip, spine, and wrist have different propensities or practice patterns regarding the evaluation and treatment of osteoporosis," said Dr. Gong. "Because patients with a wrist fracture are younger on the average than those with a hip or vertebral fracture, they offer physicians an important opportunity to initiate secondary prevention. We find it disappointing that many orthopaedic and hand surgeons who treat wrist fractures choose not to provide osteoporosis evaluation and treatment when, in our opinion, they should do so."

The study suggests that one reason that physicians fail to diagnose and treat osteoporosis is clinical inertia. However, the study identified several additional barriers to evaluation and treatment. For instance, the study pointed to the possibility that patients with wrist fractures may have a less serious perception of osteoporosis and thus may be more reluctant to undergo a bone mineral density examination or be treated for osteoporosis. Other barriers to treatment included:

  • the cost of therapy and diagnosis;
  • time constraints;
  • concerns about medications; and
  • lack of clarity regarding responsibility for this care.

"Women who break a wrist should know about their further fracture risks and the need to be treated accordingly," said Dr. Gong. "As a result of this research, I expect more patients with wrist fractures will get proper evaluation and management for osteoporosis. Ideally, the more patients know, the more questions they will ask about preventing, testing for and treatment options for osteoporosis. And, the more orthopaedic surgeons know, the more often they will recommend further screening after any bone fracture."

Dr. Gong recommends additional studies and intervention programs to eliminate this care gap. "Those interventions should focus on a systemic approach to investigate overall bone health by physicians who are responsible for investigating and treating wrist fractures."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. "Wrist Fracture Patients Less Likely To Be Evaluated For Osteoporosis." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 1 October 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/10/091001091801.htm>.
American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. (2009, October 1). Wrist Fracture Patients Less Likely To Be Evaluated For Osteoporosis. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/10/091001091801.htm
American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. "Wrist Fracture Patients Less Likely To Be Evaluated For Osteoporosis." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/10/091001091801.htm (accessed July 24, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

Newsy (July 24, 2014) The FDA approved Targiniq ER on Wednesday, a painkiller designed to keep users from abusing it. Like any new medication, however, it has doubters. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctor At Forefront Of Fighting Ebola Outbreak Gets Ebola

Doctor At Forefront Of Fighting Ebola Outbreak Gets Ebola

Newsy (July 24, 2014) Sheik Umar Khan has treated many of the people infected in the Ebola outbreak, and now he's become one of them. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Condemned Man's US Execution Takes Nearly Two Hours

Condemned Man's US Execution Takes Nearly Two Hours

AFP (July 24, 2014) America's death penalty debate raged Thursday after it took nearly two hours for Arizona to execute a prisoner who lost a Supreme Court battle challenging the experimental lethal drug cocktail. Duration: 00:55 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
China's Ageing Millions Look Forward to Bleak Future

China's Ageing Millions Look Forward to Bleak Future

AFP (July 24, 2014) China's elderly population is expanding so quickly that children struggle to look after them, pushing them to do something unexpected in Chinese society- move their parents into a nursing home. Duration: 02:07 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

    Health News

      Environment News

        Technology News



          Save/Print:
          Share:

          Free Subscriptions


          Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

          Get Social & Mobile


          Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

          Have Feedback?


          Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
          Mobile: iPhone Android Web
          Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
          Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
          Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins