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Orthopaedic Care
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14th Apr, 2009 | Source : American Orthopaedic Association (AOA)

Nearly 1.5 million women and men break a bone due to low bone density each year. Statistics show that up to half of all women and one quarter of all men over 50 will sustain at least one fragility fracture (a broken bone resulting from a fall from standing height or less) in their lifetimes. Once a person fractures, they are far more likely to fracture again. Studies show that individuals who have had a fragility fracture are two to four times more likely to experience another fracture than those who have never had one. People who have healthy bones should not suffer from fragility fractures. Many people have no idea that their fracture is an indication of a larger problem, osteoporosis. The US Surgeon General has identified osteoporosis and fragility fractures as major health problems.

The American Orthopaedic Association (AOA), founded in 1887, is the oldest orthopaedic association in the world. AOA takes leadership on critical orthopaedic issues, including patient care after a fragility fracture. This fall, AOA is launching Own the Bone™, a comprehensive hospital-based, multi-specialty, quality improvement program focused on preventing future fragility fractures.

The goal of Own the Bone is to ensure that fracture patients over the age of 50 are screened for osteoporosis. Currently this screening is not consistently performed. Orthopaedic surgeons are often the initial treating physician for many of these patients. The AOA believes that orthopaedic surgeons should lead the way in the prevention of future fractures by promoting coordinated care among various medical specialties.

Own the Bone assists all physicians in evaluating and treating patients’ bone health after a fragility fracture. The seriousness of the fracture episode provides physicians with the opportunity to teach their patient about reducing their risk of a future fracture. Orthopaedic surgeons can also play a significant role by coordinating patient care with physicians of many specialties such as primary care, endocrinology, OB-GYN, geriatrics, rheumatology, and other allied health care providers such as nurses and physical therapists.

Own the Bone provides guidelines and materials to help orthopaedic surgeons initiate communications and arrange appropriate patient treatment with other specialties once the initial fracture has been repaired. The strategy for success is to implement a team approach and empower everyone to take steps to “Own the Bone” as part of routine clinical practice and ultimately improve patient care.

By implementing Own the Bone, hospitals will have the tools to improve diagnosis and management of patient bone health after a fragility fracture. Own the Bone streamlines the process of identifying, evaluating and treating patients’ osteoporosis after a fracture. Subscribed hospitals apply easy-to-use web-based registry and educational materials to promote quality care measures for the prevention of more fragility fractures. Showing measurable results has a positive impact on the patient, the hospital, and the community.

People interested in finding out more about bone health should visit the National Osteoporosis Foundation at or the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases at

Health Care Providers and Hospitals interested in implementing this quality improvement program should contact the AOA at [email protected] or visit



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