Is it really just a fracture?

A slip, a fall and a broken wrist. But is it really just a fracture? Every year many Canadians over age 50 needlessly suffer fractures because their osteoporosis goes undiagnosed and untreated, says Dr. Lisa-Ann Fraser, Medical Director of St. Joseph’s Osteoporosis and Bone Disease Program. Yet patients who present to hospitals with the kind of fractures that raise a red flag for osteoporosis are often not assessed for the condition or receive proper treatment.

Dr. Lisa-Ann Fraser and patient in fracture clinic

Dr. Lisa-Ann Fraser, medical director of St. Joseph’s Osteoporosis and Bone Disease Program, talks to a patient about bone disease.

In December 2014, St. Joseph’s launched a monthly post-fracture osteoporosis assessment clinic – a partnership between the Osteoporosis and Bone Disease Program and St. Joseph’s Roth | McFarlane Hand and Upper Limb Centre.  All individuals over age 50 who have presented at the Roth | McFarlane Centre within the previous month with a non-traumatic fracture (caused by a fall from standing height or less) are referred for a bone mineral density scan and then seen by an osteoporosis expert at the clinic. Patients also receive education about bone health and appropriate osteoporosis treatment if needed. 

“Osteoporosis has huge ramifications – pain, suffering, even a shortened lifespan – but with the right treatment, osteoporotic fractures can be prevented,” says Dr. Fraser.

Read more about the clinic, the kind of fractures that raise a red flag for osteoporosis and who is at risk.