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Clin Orthop Relat Res. 2007 Aug;461:226-30.

Prior fractures are common in patients with subsequent hip fractures.

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Northwestern University, Chicago, IL, USA.


Treating osteoporosis in patients with prior fractures potentially results in a 50% reduction of risk of future fractures. We retrospectively reviewed 632 patients with incident hip fractures to evaluate (1) the prevalence of prior fractures in incident hip fractures, (2) whether prior fractures led to an increase in the treatment of osteoporosis, and (3) the cost utility of osteoporosis treatment after a prior fracture. The patients were treated at three hospitals from January 2000 to June 2001 and 514 (80%) were women. A minimal trauma fracture was defined as a fracture resulting from a fall while standing or walking or falling from a height less than 4 feet. Two hundred eighty-two patients (45%) with incident hip fractures described a prior minimal trauma fracture. Osteoporosis was diagnosed in 43 (13%) women and three (5%) men. In 107 cases (17%), the incident hip fracture was the second hip fracture. A prior minimal trauma fracture did not increase treatment for osteoporosis. Presuming a 50% reduction in fracture risk with medications, treating the 282 patients with prior minimal trauma fracture would have resulted in a savings of $3.5 million.

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