Orthopedic Surgeons treat fractures. Now Orthopods are joining the fight to Prevent Fractures.
At the National Osteoporosis Foundation (NOF) 2015 meeting, Orthopedic Surgeons were the most numerous specialty among docs (MD and DO) . This is huge! In 2007 we were above 1% for the first time. Now we are 17%. What has happened?
Orthopods can easily identify persons with bone health issues, because a fracture is the clearest clue that there may be a bone health problem. Often patients see orthopedics for a fracture and do not see their regular primary care doc until their next annual check-up.
The idea that bone health (including osteoporosis) could and should be identified and treated in an orthopedic office was very unusual when I started in 2007. It is still not common, but it is spreading rapidly. We have directly helped a dozen other offices start treating bone health.
The latest trend is for Nurse Practitioners (NPs) and Physician Assistants (PAs) to do most of the bone health assessment and treatment within an orthopedic, or other, office. That was evident at the meeting. Over 1/3 of the attendees were NPs or PAs – many of them working in orthopedic offices.
Family Medicine docs, NPs, and PAs also attended in record numbers. This is a growing trend. Proactively addressing bone health, before a fracture, is taking its rightful place in primary care.
Orthopedic, Family Medicine, and Geriatric practices are increasingly offering bone health evaluation and treatment.
Take Control of Your Bone Health. Get a Complete Bone Health Evaluation.
Jay Ginther, MD