What setting is most successful at evaluating Osteoporosis and initiating therapy? Fracture Clinics are the winner again in a new study published in Osteoporosis International. That is why I spent 2 days this past week in North Dakota teaching docs, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, nurses, and administrators how to set up osteoporosis centers in fracture clinics.
Fracture clinics have a huge advantage. Patients and their families understand the urgency. Fracture clinics deal only with fractures. Diabetes, heart disease, cancer history, etc. do not steal part of visit time and focus. So why do few fracture clinics offer osteoporosis evaluation and treatment?
As an orthopedic surgeon, I did not have time in my patients’ visits for serious attention to anything but fracture care and patient recovery. Only after my Physician’s Assistant (PA-C), and later Nurse Practitioner (ARNP), did the majority of the osteoporosis clinic, did we devote enough time to osteoporosis care. Six years ago that was unusual. It is becoming more common.
Set aside a separate office visit with a PA-C or ARNP, just for evaluation and treatment of Bone Health. That is the model which works best to get fracture patients (the ones at the highest risk for another fracture) evaluated and treated.
Orthopedic surgeons are becoming more involved. Dr Joe Lane, a pioneer in treating the underlying disease of osteoporosis, as well as the fractures resulting from osteoporosis, will present that message at the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons (AAOS) Annual Meeting.
Fracture = Oseoporosis Evaluation and Treatment. Make it happen!
Jay Ginther, MD