Osteoporosis, the underlying cause of most hip fractures, is underdiagnosed and undertreated. The 2008 Joint Commission report Improving and Measuring Osteoporosis Management showed only an average of 20% of patients with low-impact fracture are ever tested or treated for osteoporosis. We developed an integrated model utilizing hospitalists and orthopaedic surgeons to improve care of osteoporosis in patients with hip fracture.
Does our integrated model combining hospitalists and orthopaedic surgeons improve the frequency of evaluation for osteoporosis, screening for secondary causes, and patients’ education on osteoporosis?
Patients and Methods
Our Hospitalist-Orthopaedic Surgeon Integrated Model of Care was implemented in September 2009. We compared the rate of evaluation and treatment of osteoporosis in 140 patients admitted with fragility hip fracture at our institution before (70 patients) and after (70 patients) implementation of the care plan.
Evaluation of patients for osteoporosis was higher in the postimplementation group compared to the preimplementation group (89% versus 24%). Screening of patients for secondary causes of osteoporosis was also improved in the postimplementation group (89% versus 0%), as was the proportion of patients who received education for osteoporosis management (89% versus 0%).
Our model of integrated care by hospitalists and orthopaedic surgeons resulted in improvement in the evaluation for osteoporosis, screening for secondary causes of osteoporosis, and education on osteoporosis management in patients with hip fracture at our institution. This may have important implications for treatment of these patients.
Level of Evidence
Level III, therapeutic study. See Guidelines for Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.
Recent epidemiologic and clinical data suggest men and racial and ethnic minorities may receive lower-quality care for osteoporosis and fragility fractures than female and nonminority patients. The causes of such differences and optimal strategies for their reduction are unknown.
A panel was convened at the May 2010 American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons/Orthopaedic Research Society/Association of Bone and Joint Surgeons Musculoskeletal Healthcare Disparities Research Symposium to (1) assess current understanding of sex/gender and racial/ethnic disparities in the care of osteoporosis and after fragility fractures, (2) define goals for improving the equity and quality of care, and (3) identify strategies for achieving these goals.
Where are we now?
Participants identified shortcomings in the quality of care for osteoporosis and fragility fractures among male and minority populations and affirmed a need for novel strategies to improve the quality and equity of care.
Where do we need to go?
Participants agreed opportunities exist for health professionals to contribute to improved osteoporosis management and secondary fracture prevention. They agreed on a need to define standards of care and management for osteoporosis and fragility fractures and develop strategies to involve physicians and other health professionals in improving care.
How do we get there?
The group proposed strategies to improve the quality and equity of osteoporosis and care after fragility fractures. These included increased patient and physician education, with identification of “champions” for osteoporosis care within and outside of the healthcare workforce; creation of incentives for hospitals and physicians to improve care; and research comparing the effectiveness of approaches to osteoporosis screening and fracture management.
To investigate the current practice of Orthopaedic Surgeons & General Practitioners (GP) when presented with patients who have a fracture, with possible underlying Osteoporosis.
Questionnaires were sent to 140 GPs and 140 Orthopaedic Surgeons. The participants were asked their routine clinical practice with regard to investigation of underlying osteoporosis in 3 clinical scenarios.
55 year old lady with a low trauma Colles fracture
60 year old lady with a vertebral wedge fracture
70 year old lady with a low trauma neck of femur fracture.
Most doctors agreed that patients over 50 years old with low trauma fractures required investigation for osteoporosis, however, most surgeons (56%, n = 66) would discharge patients with low trauma Colles fracture without requesting or initiating investigation for osteoporosis. Most GPs (67%, n = 76) would not investigate a similar patient for osteoporosis, unless prompted by the Orthopaedic Surgeon or patient.
More surgeons (71%, n= 83) and GPs (64%, n = 72) would initiate investigations for osteoporosis in a vertebral wedge fracture, but few surgeons (35%, n = 23) would investigate a neck of femur fracture patient after orthopaedic treatment.
Most doctors know that fragility fractures in patients over 50 years old require investigation for Osteoporosis; however, a large population of patients with osteoporotic fractures are not being given the advantages of secondary prevention.
Fragility fractures represent a major health problem, as they cause deformity, disability and increased mortality rates. Orthopaedic surgeons should identify patients with fragility fractures and manage their osteoporosis in order to reduce the risk of future fracture; therefore, orthopaedic surgeons’ knowledge about managing fragile fracture should be evaluated.
A questionnaire was administered to 2,910 orthopaedic surgeons to address the respondents’ knowledge. The questions covered the topics of diagnosis, treatment and approach to a patient with a fragility fracture. The data-collection period for this survey spanned one year.
There were 2,021 orthopaedic surgeons who participated in this study. Less than 10% of the respondents included bone mass densitometry (BMD) when evaluating patients with fragile fractures 32% prescribed proper dosage of calcium and vitamin D; approximately 30% would refer if falling from a height was suspected.
The majority of orthopaedic surgeons questioned lacked knowledge of fragility fracture management. This is reflected by limited knowledge of osteoporosis assessment and treatment in most areas. An appropriate method should be created to manage patients with fragility fractures to guarantee the patient the best possible care.
Many patients who have undiagnosed osteoporosis and a recent fragility fracture present to fracture clinics in Canadian hospitals, where the focus of management is on fracture care. The rate of diagnosis and treatment of osteoporosis in this patient group is unknown.
Patients who presented with fractures at sites consistent with fragility-type fractures were identified through a retrospective chart review of fracture clinic visits in 3 Ontario community hospitals in selected weeks in February and November 1996 and August and May 1997. These patients were contacted by mail and telephone follow-up to obtain consent to participate in a telephone interview. Patients were excluded if the index fracture had been traumatic, if they were younger than 18 years, or if they had medical conditions known to be associated with secondary bone loss. Eligible patients were questioned about their history of prior fractures, diagnosis of osteoporosis, and investigation and treatment of osteoporosis before or after the index fracture.
Among 2694 fracture clinic visits, we identified 228 patients (8.4%) with fragility-type fractures. Of the 228, 128 (56.1%) were contacted and agreed to participate in an interview about 1 year from the date of the index fracture. Of the 128 patients, 108 (83 postmenopausal and 13 premenopausal women and 12 men) were confirmed as eligible. Of the 108, 43 had experienced 53 fractures in addition to the index fracture in the preceding 10 years, of which 71% were of the fragility type. At interview, only 20 (18.5%) (all postmenopausal women) of the 108 patients reported that they had received a diagnosis of osteoporosis. Of the 20, 90% and 45% respectively had been advised to take calcium and vitamin D supplements; 8 (40%) were receiving hormone replacement therapy (HRT), and 8 (40%) were taking bisphosphonates. Of the 88 patients who had not received a diagnosis of osteoporosis, 4 (4.5%) were receiving HRT, none was taking bisphosphonates, and less than 20% had been advised to take supplemental calcium or vitamin D.
In a representative sample of patients at urban fracture clinics, less than 20% who presented with a fragility-type fracture had undergone investigatation and adequate treatment of osteoporosis at 1-year follow-up. Since previous fracture significantly increases the risk for future fracture, this clearly is a deficiency in management. Through improved identification and treatment of patients with osteoporosis-related fractures who present to fracture clinics, there is a significant opportunity to reduce the rates of illness and death associated with this conditio
Through retrospective Jeju-cohort study at 2005, we found low rates of detection of osteoporosis (20.1%) and medication for osteoporosis (15.5%) in those who experienced hip fracture. This study was to determine the orthopedic surgeons' awareness could increase the osteoporosis treatment rate after a hip fracture and the patient barriers to osteoporosis management. We prospectively followed 208 patients older than 50 yr who were enrolled for hip fractures during 2007 in Jeju-cohort. Thirty four fractures in men and 174 in women were treated at the eight hospitals. During the study period, orthopedic surgeons who worked at these hospitals attended two education sessions and were provided with posters and brochures. Patients were interviewed 6 months after discharge using an evaluation questionnaire regarding their perceptions of barriers to osteoporosis treatment. The patients were followed for a minimum of one year. Ninety-four patients (45.2%) underwent detection of osteoporosis by dual energy x-ray absorptiometry and 67 (32.2%) were prescribed medication for osteoporosis at the time of discharge. According to the questionnaire, the most common barrier to treatment for osteoporosis after a hip fracture was patients reluctance. The detection and medication rate for osteoporosis after hip fracture increased twofold after orthopedic surgeons had attended the intervention program. Nevertheless, the osteoporosis treatment rate remains inadequate.
Hip Fractures; Orthopedic Surgeon; Osteoporosis; Treatment
Reamed intramedullary nailing, recommended for impending fracture of a femur weakened by bone metastases, causes a rise in intramedullary pressure and increases the risk of a fat embolism syndrome. The pressure can be equalized by the technique of venting — drilling a hole into the distal cortex of the femur. Our objective was to study the current practice of orthopedic surgeons in Ontario with respect to venting during prophylactic intramedullary nailing for an impending femoral fracture due to bone metastases.
We mailed a questionnaire to all orthopedic surgeons from the Province of Ontario listed in the 1999 Canadian Medical Directory or on the Canadian Orthopaedic Association membership list, asking if they vent when prophylactically nailing an impending pathologic femoral fracture. The responses were modelled as a function of surgeon volume and year of graduation.
Of the 415 surveys mailed, 223 (54%) surgeons responded. Of these, 81% reported having prophylactically treated a femoral metastatic lesion during the previous year; 67% treated 1 to 3 metastatic lesions and 14% treated more than 3; 19% did not treat a metastatic femoral lesion prophylactically. Over two-thirds of surgeons had never considered venting, whereas one-third always or sometimes vented the femoral canal. More recent graduates were 3 times more likely to vent than earlier (before 1980) graduates (odds ratio [OR] = 3.2, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.6–6.5) as were those who treat a greater number of impending fractures (OR = 1.4, 95% CI 1.1–1.7).
Although there is a theoretical rationale for routine venting, there is disagreement among Ontario orthopedic surgeons regarding the use of this technique during prophylactic nailing for femoral metastatic lesions. Prospective evidence will be required to warrant a change in the standard of care.
The presence of a fragility fracture is a major risk factor for osteoporosis, and should be an indicator for osteoporosis diagnosis and therapy. However, the extent to which patients who fracture are assessed and treated for osteoporosis is not clear.
We performed a review of the literature to identify the practice patterns in the diagnosis and treatment of osteoporosis in adults over the age of 40 who experience a fragility fracture in Canada. Searches were performed in MEDLINE (1966 to January 2, 2003) and CINAHL (1982 to February 1, 2003) databases.
There is evidence of a care gap between the occurrence of a fragility fracture and the diagnosis and treatment of osteoporosis in Canada. The proportion of individuals with a fragility fracture who received an osteoporosis diagnostic test or physician diagnosis ranged from 1.7% to 50%. Therapies such as hormone replacement therapy, bisphosphonates or calcitonin were being prescribed to 5.2% to 37.5% of patients. Calcium and vitamin D supplement intake was variable, and ranged between 2.8% to 61.6% of patients.
Many Canadians who experience fragility fracture are not receiving osteoporosis management for the prevention of future fractures.
osteoporosis; fracture; Canada; diagnosis; treatment
To evaluate factors associated with whether patients associate their fracture with future fracture risk.
Fragility fracture patients participated in a telephone interview. Unadjusted odds ratios (OR, [95% CI]) were calculated to identify factors associated with whether patients associate their fracture with increased fracture risk or osteoporosis. Predictors identified in univariate analysis were entered into multivariable logistic regression models.
127 fragility fracture patients (82% female) participated in the study, mean (SD) age 67.5 (12.7) years. An osteoporosis diagnosis was reported in 56 (44%) participants, but only 17% thought their fracture was related to osteoporosis. Less than 50% perceived themselves at increased risk of fracture. The odds of an individual perceiving themselves at increased risk for fracture were higher for those that reported a diagnosis of osteoporosis (OR 22.91 [95%CI 7.45;70.44], p < 0.001), but the odds decreased with increasing age (0.95 [0.91;0.99], p<0.009). The only variable significantly associated with the perception that the fracture was related to osteoporosis was self-reported osteoporosis diagnosis (39.83 [8.15;194.71], p<0.001).
Many fragility fracture patients do not associate their fracture with osteoporosis. It is crucial for physicians to communicate to patients that an osteoporosis diagnosis, increasing age or a fragility fracture increases the risk for future fracture.
A care gap exists between recommendations and practice regarding the diagnosis and treatment of osteoporosis in fracture patients. The current study was designed to determine rates and predictors of in-hospital diagnosis and treatment of osteoporosis in patients admitted with fragility hip fractures, and to assess differences in these rates since the outset of the multipronged "Fracture? Think Osteoporosis" (FTOP) Program, which includes education of geriatrics and rehabilitation teams.
This is a retrospective cohort study conducted with data from two Hamilton, Ontario, university-based tertiary-care hospitals, and represents a follow-up to a previous study conducted 8 years earlier. Data pertaining to all 354 patients, age >/= 50, admitted between March 2003 and April 2004, inclusive, with a diagnosis of fragility hip fracture were evaluated. Twelve patients were excluded leaving 342 patients for analysis, with 75% female, mean age 81.
Outcomes included: Primary – In-hospital diagnosis of osteoporosis and/or initiation of anti-resorptive treatment ("new osteoporosis diagnosis/treatment"). Secondary – In-hospital mortality, BMD referrals, pre-admission osteoporosis diagnosis and treatment.
At admission, 27.8% of patients had a pre-existing diagnosis of osteoporosis and/or were taking anti-resorptive treatment. Among patients with no previous osteoporosis diagnosis/treatment: 35.7% received a new diagnosis of osteoporosis, 21% were initiated on anti-resorptive treatment, and 14.3% received a BMD referral. The greatest predictor of new osteoporosis diagnosis/treatment was transfer to a rehabilitation or geriatrics unit: 79.5% of rehabilitation/geriatrics versus 18.5% of patients receiving only orthopedics care met this outcome (p < 0.001).
New diagnosis of osteoporosis among patients admitted with hip fracture has improved from 1.8% in the mid 1990's to 35.7%. Initiation of bisphosphonate therapy has likewise improved from 0% to 21%. Although multiple factors have likely contributed, the differential response between rehabilitation/geriatrics versus orthopedics patients suggests that education of the geriatric and rehabilitation teams, including one-on-one and group-based sessions, implemented as part of the FTOP Program, has played a role in this improvement. A significant care gap still exists for patients discharged directly from orthopedic units. The application of targeted inpatient and post-discharge initiatives, such as those that comprise the entire FTOP Program, may be of particular value in this setting.
There is a large quality of care gap for patients with osteoporosis. As a fragility fracture is a strong indicator of underlying osteoporosis, it offers an ideal opportunity to initiate investigation and treatment. However, studies of post-fracture populations document screening and treatment rates below 20% in most settings. This is despite the fact that bone mineral density (BMD) scans are effective at identifying patients at high risk of fracture, and effective drug treatments are widely available. Effective interventions are required to remedy this incongruity in current practice.
This study reviewed randomised controlled trials (RCT) involving fully qualified healthcare professionals caring for patients with a fragility fracture in all healthcare settings. Any intervention designed to modify the behaviour of healthcare professionals or implement a service delivery change was considered. The main outcomes were BMD scanning and osteoporosis treatment with anti-resorptive therapy. The electronic databases Medline and Embase were searched from 1994 to June 2010 to identify relevant articles in English. Post-intervention risk differences (RDs) were calculated for the main outcomes and any additional study primary outcomes; the trials were meta-analysed.
A total of 2814 potentially relevant articles were sifted; 18 were assessed in full text. Nine RCTs evaluating ten interventions met the inclusion criteria for the review. All were from North America. Four studies focused on patients with a hip fracture, three on fractures of the wrist/distal forearm, and two included several fracture sites consistent with a fragility fracture. All studies reported positive effects of the intervention for the main study outcomes of BMD scanning and osteoporosis treatment. For BMD scanning the overall risk ratio (95% CI) was 2.8 (2.16 to 3.64); the RD was 36% (21% to 50%). For treatment with anti-resorptive therapy the overall risk ratio (95% CI) was 2.48 (1.92 to 3.2); the RD was 20% (10% to 30%).
All interventions produced positive effects on BMD scanning and osteoporosis treatment rates post-fracture. Despite sizeable increases, investigation and treatment rates remain sub-optimal. Long-term compliance with osteoporosis medications needs to be addressed, as the majority of studies reported treatment rates at six-month follow up only. Studies would be more informative if treatment criteria were defined a priori to facilitate understanding of whether patients were being treated appropriately and integrated economic analyses would be helpful for informing policy implementation decisions.
Hip fractures and dementia increase exponentially with age, and patients who are afflicted by both conditions suffer significant morbidity and mortality. The aging of our population heightens the need to recognize the interaction of these conditions in order to improve our efforts to prevent hip fractures, provide acute care that improves outcomes, and provide secondary prevention and rehabilitation that returns patients to their previous level of functioning. Identification and treatment of vitamin D deficiency and osteoporosis and assessment and interventions to reduce falls in patients with dementia can significantly impact the incidence of first and subsequent hip fractures. Acute management of hip fractures that focuses on comanagement by orthopedic surgeons and geriatricians and uses protocol-driven geriatric-focused care has been shown to decrease mortality, length of hospitalization, readmission rates, and complications including delirium. Patients with mild-to-moderate dementia benefit from intensive geriatric rehabilitation to avoid nursing home placement. Recognizing the need to optimize primary and secondary prevention of hip fractures in patients with dementia and educating providers and families will lead to improved quality of life for patients affected by dementia and hip fractures.
dementia; fragility fractures; prevention; practice patterns; hip fractures; comanagement
Postmenopausal osteoporosis is common and underrecognized among elderly women. Osteoporotic fractures cause disability and disfigurement and threaten patients’ mobility, independence, and survival. Care for incident fractures in this age group must go beyond orthopedic repair, to assessment and treatment of the underlying bone fragility. Fracture risk can be reduced by vitamin D and calcium supplementation along with antiresorptive drug treatment. First-line osteoporosis pharmacotherapy employs nitrogen-containing bisphosphonates. The inconvenience of daily oral treatment has motivated development of weekly, monthly, and intermittent oral regimens, as well as quarterly and yearly intravenous (iv) regimens. Ibandronate is the first bisphosphonate to have shown direct anti-fracture efficacy with a non-daily regimen; it was approved for once-monthly oral dosing in 2005 and for quarterly iv dosing in 2006. Intermittent oral risedronate and yearly iv zoledronic acid were approved in 2007. Newly available regimens with extended dosing intervals reduce the inconvenience of bisphosphonate therapy and provide patients with a range of options from which to select a maximally sustainable course of treatment. This review discusses the development, efficacy, safety, and tolerability of extended-interval bisphosphonate regimens and examines their potential to improve patient acceptance and long-term success of osteoporosis treatment.
ibandronate; alendronate; risedronate; zoledronic acid; adherence; persistence
Total knee replacement is now the most common joint replacement procedure performed in Ontario, and many patients require bilateral replacement. However, whether bilateral total knee arthroplasty (TKA) should be staged or simultaneous is hotly debated. To determine the current common operative practices of orthopedic surgeons in Ontario, we carried out a province-wide survey.
Orthopedic surgeons from Ontario listed in the 1999 Canadian Medical Directory or the membership list of the Canadian Orthopaedic Association were sent questionnaires, asking about their practice in the timing of bilateral TKA, tourniquet use, type of guide and use of techniques to minimize fat embolization.
Of the 416 surveys mailed, 219 (53%) surgeons responded. The majority responded that they perform staged bilateral TKA (28% 3-mo interval and 37% 6-mo interval). Simultaneous TKA with 2 teams was the least performed procedure (2%). When performing bilateral TKA, 95% of surgeons use an intramedullary femoral alignment guide, 78% utilize an over-reamed entry hole and 53% suction the canal before inserting the guide rod. With respect to the tibia, 32% use an intramedullary guide, 60% over-ream the entry hole and 60% suction the entry hole; 22% of surgeons stated that they had never considered over-reaming or suctioning the canal to minimize fat embolization.
There is no consensus regarding the timing of bilateral TKA in Ontario. Furthermore, many surgeons are not overdrilling or suctioning the femoral canal despite evidence in the literature that overdrilling may be beneficial in decreasing fat embolization. Further research is required to compare the risk of complications of bilateral TKA after staged versus simultaneous TKA.
Osteoporosis is an important risk factor for fragility fractures. Although osteoporosis is considered common in multiple sclerosis (MS), few previous studies focused on fractures in MS.
Using the North American Research Committee on Multiple Sclerosis (NARCOMS) Registry, we investigated the frequency of osteoporosis, fractures, and clinical risk factors for fracture in MS.
In 2007, 9,346 NARCOMS participants reported fractures and clinical risk factors for fractures including history of osteoporosis or osteopenia (low bone mass), sedentary level of physical activity, falls in the last year, current smoking status, family history of osteoporosis, and impaired mobility.
Among responders, 2,501 (27.2%) reported low bone mass. More than 15% of responders reported a history of fracture after age 13 years (n = 1,482). Among those reporting fractures, 685 (46.2%) reported multiple fractures, while 522 (35.2%) reported a wrist fracture, 165 (11.1%) reported a vertebral fracture, and 100 (7.4%) reported a hip fracture. Excluding age, 1,413 (15.1%) participants had 1 clinical risk factor for fracture, 2,341 (25.0%) had 2, and 5,393 (57.7%) had 3 or more. Among participants with a history of fracture, 746 (55%) reported taking calcium supplements, 858 (68.8%) reported taking vitamin D supplements or a multivitamin with vitamin D, and 334 (22.5%) reported taking a bisphosphonate.
Patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) often have multiple risk factors for osteoporotic fractures. Many patients with MS with low bone mass or previous fractures are not taking supplemental calcium or vitamin D, suggesting a potential area of improvement in care.
= multiple sclerosis;
= North American Research Committee on Multiple Sclerosis;
= Patient Determined Disease Steps;
= socioeconomic status.
Traditional bonesetters (TBS) have been in Nigeria for centuries. Up to 85% of patients with fractures present first to the traditional bonesetters before coming to the hospital and therefore this mode of care delivery cannot be overlooked in Nigeria. We attempted to document the current practice of TBS in Ibadan and their methods of fracture treatment with a view to training and improving the services offered by them. We carried out a literature search to review all previous studies on traditional bonesetters’ practice and visited a few of them to document their current practice. The only change in the management of fractures by the TBS over the past 28 years was the use of spiritual methods of healing to treat open comminuted fractures; a technique for which no scientific basis was readily discernible. There is a need to educate and train the TBS in effective management of both open and closed fractures. Such training should be provided by orthodox orthopedic surgeons with a view to minimizing mismanagement of fractures. To this end, we propose a training algorithm.
The purpose of this review is the presentation of the proper orthopaedic treatment of the most frequent fragility fractures associated with low bone mineral density or established osteoporosis. In this particular group of patients, the surgical treatment is difficult for the poor quality of the broken bone that limits the reduction, the hardware fixation and the physiologic process of bone healing. Other important problems are the postoperative management of old patients with chronic diseases and more prone to develop local and general complications with big difficulties to conduct a good rehabilitation program.
Some considerations will be made, lastly, about the role of the orthopaedic surgeon on the treatment of osteoporosis and on the possibility to prevent further fractures.
osteoporosis; fracture; orthopaedic treatment; bone healing
This project was developed to identify ways to support hospital-based improvements for the identification and management of osteoporosis following treament of a fragility fracture.
This is a retrospective review of medical records of sets of consecutive patients who were admitted for surgical treatment of fragility fracture following introduction of several versions of admission and discharge care pathways. Effectiveness of the admission pathway was defined as % subjects with measurement of serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) during hospitalization; effectiveness of the discharge pathway was defined as % subjects with documentation of instructions for calcium and/or vitamin D supplementation.
This study reviewed medical records of patients admitted to hospital for surgical treatment of a fragility fracture.
Medical records were evaluated for 98 patients older than 50-years who were admitted with a fragility fracture of the hip or femur.
Medical records were reviewed for the % subjects with documentation of an in-hospital order for serum 25(OH)D and with documentation of instructions to patients upon discharge concerning calcium and vitamin D intake. Median value of serum 25(OH)D was calculated.
In accordance with the admission pathway, serum 25(OH)D was measured in 37% (36/98). The median 25(OH)D level was 19.5 ng/mL; 78% were vitamin D insufficient [serum 25(OH)D< 32 ng/mL] and 36% were vitamin D deficient [serum 25(OH)D< 15 ng/mL]. In accordance with the discharge pathway, 74% (71/96) were discharged on calcium and/or vitamin D.
The high prevalence of vitamin D insufficiency (78%) observed in this study affirms the importance of incorporating vitamin D supplementation in hospital-based fracture care pathways. The discharge pathway was more effective than the newer admission pathway, a finding attributable to effects of familiarity, retraining, and introduction of computer-prompts. These evolving pathways represent a much-needed paradigm shift in the care of fragility fracture patients.
Fracture; vitamin D; osteoporosis; care improvement
The incidence of fragility fractures could double in the next 50 years. Effective treatments for osteoporosis exist and the British Orthopaedic Association (BOA) has guidelines governing how to manage underlying osteoporosis in patients with fragility fractures. This study assessed how well two trauma units treat underlying osteoporosis and whether the BOA guidelines made any impact.
PATIENTS AND METHODS
Case notes of patients with a fracture of their proximal femur admitted during January and February in 2003, 2004 and 2005 were reviewed. The results were analysed for differences between site and year.
A total of 602 case notes were reviewed. There was a significant difference in the number of patients discharged on osteoporosis medication between the two sites (27% at LRI, 8% at KGH; P < 0.001), but not between 2003 and 2005 (22% and 16%; P = 0.16). Of the patients started on treatment, 83% were started on calcium and/or vitamin D3 supplements.
The number of patients who had their underlying osteoporosis addressed was low and the type of treatment sub-optimal. This suggests the BOA guidelines have not made an impact and further work is required to improve the management of these patients.
Osteoporosis; Fragility fracture; Proximal femur; Orthopaedics; Treatment; Guidelines
With an ever-increasing elderly population, orthopaedic surgeons are faced with treating a high number of fragility fractures. Biomechanical tests have demonstrated the potential role of osteoporosis in the increased risk of fracture fixation complications, yet this has not been sufficiently proven in clinical practice. Based on this knowledge, two clinical studies were designed to investigate the influence of local bone quality on the occurrence of complications in elderly patients with distal radius and proximal humerus fractures treated by open reduction and internal fixation.
The studies were planned using a prospective multicentre open cohort design and included patients between 50 and 90 years of age. Distal radius and proximal humerus fractures were treated with locking compression 2.4 mm and proximal humerus internal locking plates, respectively. Follow-up examinations were planned for 6 weeks, 3 and 12 months as well as a telephone interview at 6 months. The primary outcome focuses on the occurrence of at least one local bone quality related complication. Local bone quality is determined by measuring bone mineral density and bone mineral content at the contralateral radius. Primary complications are categorised according to predefined factors directly related to the bone/fracture or the implant/surgical technique. Secondary outcomes include the documentation of soft tissue/wound or general/systemic complications, clinical assessment of range of motion, and patient-rated evaluations of upper limb function and quality of life using both objective and subjective measures.
The prospective multicentre open cohort studies will determine the value of local bone quality as measured by bone mineral density and content, and compare the quality of local bone of patients who experience a complication (cases) following surgery with that of patients who do not (controls). These measurements are novel and objective alternatives to what is currently used.
Trial registration numbers
Clinical Trials.gov NCT01144208 and NCT01143675
Osteoporotic fractures represent one of the most common cause of disability and one of the major voice in the health economic budget in many countries of the world. Fragility fractures are especially meta-epiphyseal fractures, in skeletal sites with particular biomechanic characteristic (hip, vertebrae), complex and with more fragments, with slow healing process (mineralization and remodeling) and co-morbidity. The healing of a fracture in osteoporotic bone passes through the normal stages and concludes with union of the fracture although the healing process is prolonged. Fractures in the elderly osteoporotic patients represent a challenge to the orthopaedic surgeons. Osteoporosis does not only increase the risk of fracture but also represents a problem in osteofixation of fractures in fracture treatment. The major technical problem that surgeons face, is the difficulty to obtain a stable fixation of an implant due to osteoporotic bone. The load transmitted at the bone-implant interface can often exceed the reduced strain tolerance of osteoporotic bone.
In the treatment of osteoporotic fractures it is important to consider different aspects: general conditions of elderly patient and comorbidity, the reduced muscular and bone mass and the increased bone fragility, structural modifications as medullary expansion.
The aim of surgical treatment is to obtain a stable fixation that reduces pain and permits an early mobilization.
osteoporosis, bone healing, fractures fixation.
The British Orthopaedic Association published guidelines on the care of fragility fracture patients in 2003. A section of these guidelines relates to the secondary prevention of osteoporotic fractures. The objective of this audit was to compare practice in our fracture clinic to these guidelines, and take steps to improve our practice if required.
PATIENTS AND METHODS
We retrospectively audited the treatment of all 462 new patients seen in January and February 2004. Using case note analysis, 38 patients who had sustained probable fragility fractures were selected. Six months' post-injury, a telephone questionnaire was administered to confirm the nature of the injury and to find out whether the patient had been assessed, investigated or treated for osteoporosis. A second similar audit was conducted a year later after steps had been taken to improve awareness amongst the orthopaedic staff and prompt referral.
During the first audit period, only 5 of 38 patients who should have been assessed and investigated for osteoporosis were either referred or offered referral. This improved to 23 out of 43 patients during the second audit period.
Improvements in referral and assessment rates of patients at risk of further fragility fractures can be achieved relatively easily by taking steps to increase awareness amongst orthopaedic surgeons, although additional strategies and perhaps the use of automated referral systems may be required to achieve referral rates nearer 100%.
Fragility fracture; Osteoporosis; DEXA
Although closed reduction and percutaneous pinning is accepted as the treatment of choice for displaced supracondylar fracture of the humerus, there are some debates on the pinning techniques, period of immobilization, elbow range of motion (ROM) exercise, and perceptions on the restoration of elbow ROM. This study was to investigate the consensus and different perspectives on the treatment of supracondylar fractures of the humerus in children.
A questionnaire was designed for this study, which included the choice of pinning technique, methods of elbow motion, and perception on the restoration of elbow ROM. Seventy-six orthopedic surgeons agreed to participate in the study and survey was performed by a direct interview manner in the annual meetings of Korean Pediatric Orthopedic Association and Korean Society for Surgery of the Hand. There were 17 pediatric orthopedic surgeons, 48 hand surgeons, and 11 general orthopedic surgeons.
Ninety-six percent of the orthopedic surgeons agreed that closed reduction and percutaneous pinning was the treatment of choice for the displaced supracondylar fracture of the humerus in children. They showed significant difference in the choice of pin entry (lateral vs. crossed pinning, p = 0.017) between the three groups of orthopedic surgeons, but no significant difference was found in the number of pins, all favoring 2 pins over 3 pins. Most of the orthopedic surgeons used a removable splint during the ROM exercise period. Hand surgeons and general orthopedic surgeons tended to be more concerned about elbow stiffness after supracondylar fracture than pediatric orthopedic surgeons, and favored gentle passive ROM exercise as elbow motion. Pediatric orthopedic surgeons most frequently adopted active ROM exercise as the elbow motion method. Pediatric orthopedic surgeons and general orthopedic surgeons acknowledged that the patient's age was the most contributing factor to the restoration of elbow motion, whereas hand surgeons acknowledged the amount of injury to be the most contributing factor.
More investigation and communication will be needed to reach a consensus in treating pediatric supracondylar fractures of the humerus between the different subspecialties of orthopedic surgeons, which can minimize malpractice and avoid medicolegal issues.
Different perspectives; Consensus; Supracondylar fracture; Subspecialty
Ethnic disparities in care have been documented with a number of musculoskeletal disorders including osteoporosis. We suggest a systems approach for ensuring osteoporosis care can minimize potential ethnic disparities in care.
We evaluated variations in osteoporosis treatment by age, sex, and race/ethnicity by (1) measuring the rates of patients after a fragility fracture who had been evaluated by dual-energy xray absorptiometry and/or in whom antiosteoporosis treatment had been initiated and (2) determining the rates of osteoporosis treatment in patients who subsequently had a hip fracture.
Patients and Methods
We implemented an integrated osteoporosis prevention program in a large health plan. Continuous screening of electronic medical records identified patients who met the criteria for screening for osteoporosis, were diagnosed with osteoporosis, or sustained a fragility fracture. At-risk patients were referred to care managers and providers to complete practice guidelines to close care gaps. Race/ethnicity was self-reported. Treatment rates after fragility fracture or osteoporosis treatment failures with later hip fracture were calculated. Data for the years 2008 to 2009 were stratified by age, sex, and race/ethnicity.
Women (92.1%) were treated more often than men (75.2%) after index fragility fracture. The treatment rate after fragility fracture was similar among race/ethnic groups in either sex (women 87.4%–93.4% and men 69.3%–76.7%). Osteoporotic treatment before hip fracture was more likely in white men and women and Hispanic men than other race/ethnic and gender groups.
Racial variation in osteoporosis care after fragility fracture in race/ethnic groups in this healthcare system was low when using the electronic medical record identifying care gaps, with continued reminders to osteoporosis disease management care managers and providers until those care gaps were closed.
OBJECTIVE: To survey physicians in Ontario regarding their approach to diagnosis and treatment of osteoporosis among residents of long-term care facilities. DESIGN: Mailed questionnaire covering physician demographics; current clinical practice relating to osteoporosis; and perceived barriers to prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of the disease. SETTING: Long-term care facilities in Ontario. PARTICIPANTS: Medical directors of long-term care facilities. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Demographic variables; physician attitudes; and practices concerning awareness, diagnosis, and treatment of osteoporosis. RESULTS: Respondents returned 275 of 490 questionnaires, for a response rate of 56.1%. Most respondents (92.4%) were family physicians; 28.7% were caring for more than 100 patients in long-term care. Most (85.8%) saw from one to 10 hip fractures yearly in their practices. Although 49.6% of respondents estimated the prevalence of osteoporosis to be 40% to 80% among their long-term care patients, 45.5% said that they did not routinely assess their patients for the disease, and 26.8% do not routinely treat it. Half (50.9%) of physicians would treat patients at high risk based on clinical history; 47.9% if patients had a vertebral compression fracture on plain x-ray examination; 43.8% if patients were highly functional; 42.0% if osteoporosis were confirmed with bone mineral densitometry; and 30.0% if patients had a recent fracture. Perceived barriers to initiating treatment included cost of therapy, patient or family reluctance to accept therapy, and time or cost of diagnosis. CONCLUSION: Although physicians are aware that patients in long-term care facilities are at high risk for osteoporosis and hip fractures, the disease remains underdiagnosed and undertreated.