Towards a Fracture-Free Future

Patients with fragility fractures are at the highest risk of developing new fractures. Interventions can reduce that risk! Hundreds of thousands of Canadians needlessly fracture each year because their osteoporosis goes undiagnosed and untreated.Key Considerations:

  • Over 80% of all fractures after age 50 are caused by osteoporosis. Despite availability of BMD testing and coverage for osteoporosis medications, over 80% of fracture patients are never offered assessment and/or treatment for osteoporosis post fracture.
  • Without appropriate diagnosis and treatment, these patients remain at substantial risk for recurrent, debilitating and life threatening osteoporotic fractures.
  • Spine and hip fractures are associated with an increased risk of death within the first year post fracture. Long term pain and disability are all too frequent. The fear of falling results in seclusion, isolation and depression. The risk of a major osteoporotic fracture in Canada is among the highest in the world (in the top quarter). Each year 30,000 Canadians break their hip.
  • This is just the tip of the iceberg: many more suffer osteoporotic fractures affecting the spine, wrist, shoulder, and pelvis.
  • The cost to the Canadian health care system of treating osteoporotic fractures is currently estimated to be $1.9 billion annually. The annual economic impact of hip fractures alone is projected to rise to $2.4 billion annually by 2041.
  • At least 15-25% of hip fracture patients require admission to a nursing home, thus contributing to the long wait times for nursing home beds. By consuming scarce orthopaedic resources, hip fractures contribute significantly to the long wait times for hip and knee replacement surgery.

Osteoporosis patients have spoken: The newly released Osteoporosis Patient Bill of Rights demands that the post fracture care gap be addressed.  Osteoporosis Canada’s Scientific Advisory Council, with input from osteoporosis experts from across the country, published updated Clinical Practice Guidelines (October 2010) which address the post fracture care gap and make recommendations on cost effective solutions. Coordinated post fracture care programs using Case Management are recommended as the most cost effective programs in reducing fractures rates, including devastating hip fracture rates.

Osteoporosis – More Frequent Than the Big Three

Osteoporotic or fragility fractures are extremely common (8), more common than heart Attack (9), stroke (9) and breast cancer (10) combined. At least one in three women and one in five men will suffer from an osteoporotic fracture during their lifetime (11).

Incidence of Osteoporotic Fracture, Heart Attack, Stroke and Breast Cancer in Women

Chipping Away at the Fracture Pyramid

Osteoporosis – Burden on the Family

Osteoporotic fractures place a significant burden on family caregivers who are often required to give up their jobs and assume additional responsibilities as a result of their loved one’s decreased mobility and disability. A study showed that 14% of persons with a wrist fracture suffered a repeat fracture within 3 years. One in three hip fracture patients re-fracture at one year and over 1 in 2 will suffer another fracture within 5 years. The risk of suffering a second spine fracture within the first 12 months following an initial vertebral fracture is 20%.

Healthy Living

You’re never too young or too old to improve the health of your bones. Osteoporosis prevention should begin in childhood. But it shouldn’t stop there. Whatever your age, the habits you adopt now can affect your bone health for the rest of your life. Now is the time to take action. People suffering from this silent disease can benefit greatly through Chiropractic Care of Osteoporosis.