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J Am Acad Orthop Surg. 2004 Nov-Dec;12(6):385-95.

Recommendations for optimal care of the fragility fracture patient to reduce the risk of future fracture.

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  • 1Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02215, USA.


Fragility fractures resulting from low trauma events such as a fall from standing height affect up to one half of women and one third of men after age 50 years. These fractures are frequently associated with osteoporosis. History of a fragility fracture is among the strongest risk factors for future fracture. Therefore, optimal care of the patient with a fragility fracture includes not only treatment of the presenting fracture itself but also evaluation and treatment of the underlying cause or causes to prevent future fractures. However, despite the availability of therapeutic agents that reduce fracture risk among osteoporotic patients who have had a fracture, most patients with fragility fractures are not evaluated for osteoporosis or treated adequately to reduce the risk of future fracture. Orthopaedic surgeons are the first and often the only physicians seen by fracture patients. Thus, they have the unique opportunity to serve as primary advocates to ensure that appropriate action is taken to reduce the risk of future fracture.

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