Although an estimated 44 million Americans are impacted by osteoporosis or low bone density, most will go undiagnosed and untreated. This disease, which is often overlooked, leads to fragility fractures. Fragility fractures can be debilitating for the elderly and sometimes worse, as it can lead to a downward spiral in physical and mental health that may result in death.
Cox Medical Center Branson is one of 88 healthcare institutions nationwide that has implemented the American Orthopaedic Association’s Own the Bone® Program. It is aimed to better identify, evaluate and treat patients who suffer from an osteoporosis or low bone density-related fragility fracture (a broken bone that results from a fall from standing height or less) and help avoid and prevent refractures.
“Own the Bone is a national registry that offers institutions the ability to document improvements in patient care over time,” explains Patsy Duggan, PA-C, CoxHealth Orthopedics Branson Bone Health Clinic. “It also allows us to compare results with other participating institutions nationwide so we can see what works best and keep up-to-date on current treatments.”
According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation, up to 50% of all women and 25% of men over the age of 50 years will sustain fragility fractures. Studies show that patients who have had a fragility fracture are two to four times more likely to experience another fracture than those who have never had a fracture.
“Fragility fractures have become nearly an epidemic in the U.S. among older adults with over 2 million fractures each year – more than heart attacks, strokes, and breast cancer combined,” says Duggan. “We have a unique opportunity to make a big difference in these patients’ lives with the Own the Bone program.”
There are a variety of factors that can put you at risk for developing osteoporosis. These include both controllable and uncontrollable factors. It is important to discuss your risk factors with your healthcare provider. Together you can develop a plan to protect your bones. For more information about the program or to schedule an appointment with CoxHealth Orthopedics Branson Bone Health Clinic, call 417/348-8100.