October 20, 2022 is World Osteoporosis Day

Osteoporosis Statistics 2022

Currently, approximately 10 million people over age 50 in the United States have osteoporosis of the hip. 

An additional 33.6 million people over age 50 have low bone mass (or osteopenia) of the hip and, thus, are at risk of osteoporosis and its potential complication of fragility fracture later in life. 

Each year, an estimated 1.5 to 2 million people suffer a fracture due to osteoporosis. The risk of fracture increases with age and is greatest in women. Approximately 5 in 10 women (and 2 in 10 men) age 50 or older in the United States will experience a hip, spine, or wrist fracture sometime during the remainder of their lives. 

There is an estimated 20% mortality rate associated with a fragility fracture within the first year following the fracture and up to a 50% chance of sustaining a second fracture within the first 6 months following the sentinel fracture. 

It is estimated that up to 40% of individuals who sustain a fragility fracture are unable to return to independent living and require nursing home care. And the lifetime risk of fractures will increase for all ethnic groups as people live longer. 

The life-time risk for osteoporosis-related morbidity is greater than a woman’s combined risk for breast cancer, endometrial cancer, and ovarian cancer.

Modern Osteoporosis Prevention & Treatment

Fortunately, osteoporosis can be prevented – with an early diagnosis before fractures occur, accurate assessment of bone mineral density, and early treatment. Therefore, increasing awareness among doctors and the orthopedic community is the first critical step in curtailing this epidemic. 

As in most implementations of preventative medicine, the “whole-person approach” usually results in the most successful outcomes. The backbone of a complete Bone Health Program, the whole-person approach requires…

  • A lifestyle balance that includes appropriate nutrition and a strong understanding of the need for a healthy and balanced diet,
  • An active lifestyle including regular exercises directed toward maintaining bone health, 
  • And appropriate bone health monitoring and medical treatment when necessary.

Bone Healthcare – It’s NOT just about fixing broken bones!

This might sound funny coming from an Orthopedic Surgeon. 

Orthopedic medical professionals like us have always been the “carpenters” of the medical world – using steel, titanium, cement, and various other construction-like materials to fix broken bones. Orthopedic training focuses on that mending aspect of bone care – putting things back together after they have broken apart.

However, preventing the fracture before it ever happens – particularly in our older patients – has become the new goal of our Bone Healthcare Program.

About the CCOA Bone Health Program

The Central Carolina Orthopedic Associates team has increased the scope of our orthopedic practice to include Bone Health and Fracture Prevention. We obtained Fracture Liaison Service certification from the National Osteoporosis Foundation and are star members of the American Orthopaedic Association’s Own-the-Bone Program national fracture database. 

We have been the main orthopedic provider in the Sanford and Pittsboro, North Carolina area for many years. And, we are now the sole Fracture Liaison Service for this area.

We have built our Bone Health program on the basis of a sound understanding of bone physiology and available medical treatment options. Our practice focuses on a full whole-person evaluation of our bone health patients – assessing medical history, medication history, social and lifestyle habits, nutrition and vitamin history, AND physical activity. 

All of our treatment recommendations include suggestions for nutrition and exercise. We will consider medication only when necessary and medically indicated.

Another differentiating aspect of our practice is our use of innovative REMS (Radiofrequency Echographic Multi Spectrometry) technology for bone densitometry. Unlike DXA, which is x-ray radiation based, REMS is an ultrasound technology that provides bone mineral density (BMD) measurements in accordance with the WHO standards. 

With REMS, the BMD is measured at the lumbar spine and hips. Therefore, it can be used to diagnose and treat osteoporosis as an equivalent method to DXA. Since it does NOT use ionizing radiation, it can be done in an office setting. Plus, the equipment is portable and can be moved easily between offices. 

Another unique feature of REMS is its ability to calculate a Fragility Score – a measure of bone quality. Bone quality (or its strength) has been recently recognized as an important aspect of a bone’s ability not to break, in addition to the common measurement of bone density.

With REMS technology, our knowledge of bone physiology, and the Bone Health training we have received, Central Carolina Orthopaedic Associates is offering a comprehensive Bone Health program.

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