Oct. 20 Marks World Osteoporosis Day, Overlake Recognized for Fragility Fracture Patient Care

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Although more than 53 million Americans already have osteoporosis or are at high risk due to low bone mass, most will go undiagnosed and untreated. Due to an aging population, the number of Americans with osteoporosis or low bone density is expected to increase significantly. 

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. One in two women and one in four men will break a bone in their lifetime due to osteoporosis. Unfortunately, less than half of the nearly two million individuals who experience fragility fractures each year are tested or treated for osteoporosis.  

Those fractures are costly - nearly $19 billion in related costs every year. By 2025, experts predict those numbers to rise to nearly three million fractures and $25.3 billion in costs each year.  

Failing to prevent future fractures can be deadly; nearly 25% of patients who suffer a hip fracture die within a year. The majority who do survive experience a loss of independence and often require long-term nursing home care. 

Overlake Leading the Way in Post-Fracture Patient Care 
Own the Bone® 

Overlake Medical Center & Clinics has taken steps to ensure its patients who experience osteoporotic fracture receive the treatment and care they deserve through participation in The American Orthopaedic Association’s Own the Bone® quality improvement (QI) program. Overlake joins over 300 healthcare institutions nationwide that have participated in Own the Bone and taken initiative to ensure their osteoporotic fracture patients receive the treatment and care they deserve. Through the Own the Bone program and its national web-based quality improvement registry, Overlake has been provided with the tools to provide quality care and to document, track and benchmark care for patients who experience a fragility fracture. The care team ensures that these patients are identified, evaluated and treated. 

Overlake proudly received an Own the Bone Star Performer designation this year—as well as the past three years—an achievement reserved only for institutions that perform the highest level of fragility fracture and bone healthcare. Own the Bone Star Performers must achieve a 75% compliance rate with at least five of the 10 Own the Bone prevention measures including: educating patients on the importance of calcium and vitamin D, physical activity, fall prevention, limiting alcohol intake and smoking cessation; recommending and initiating bone mineral density testing; discussing pharmacotherapy and treatment (when applicable); and providing written communication to the patient and their physician regarding specific risk factors and treatment recommendations.  

Through our participation in Own the Bone, as well as recognition as an Own the Bone Star Performer, Overlake has demonstrated a commitment to helping patients understand their risk for future fractures and the steps they can take to prevent them. 

“Osteoporosis is a serious condition and fragility fractures can be detrimental to one’s health,” said Heidi Barbrie, manager of orthopedic programs at Overlake Medical Center & Clinics. “While there is no cure for osteoporosis, it’s important to note that a patient’s symptoms can be managed, and here at Overlake, we are committed to providing the highest quality care that is tailored to each individual, and this award signifies our commitment in doing so.” 

What can people 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. 
  • Prevent falls around the home and be careful of stairs, railings, clutter, etc. 
  • Avoid smoking and limit alcohol intake to two to three drinks per day. 

Have you or a loved one had a broken bone over age 50?  Talk to your healthcare 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.