The Importance of Treating Osteoporosis and Preventing Fractures

Dr.Daniel Ngui, B Sc. (P.T.), MD, CFPC, FCFP, Family Physician, discusses The Importance of Treating Osteoporosis and Preventing Fractures

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Dr.Daniel Ngui, B Sc. (P.T.), MD, CFPC, FCFP, Family Physician, discusses The Importance of Treating Osteoporosis and Preventing Fractures
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Featuring Dr. Daniel Ngui, BSc (P.T), MD, CFPC, FCFP, Family Physician, The Importance of Treating Osteoporosis and Preventing Fractures Duration: 2 minutes, 50 seconds: The Importance of Treating Osteoporosis and Preventing Fractures.

Well first of all, osteoporosis is a disease that's characterized by low bone density as well as the quality of the bone is deteriorated.

The reason why this is important is that once you have osteoporosis, your risk for fractures really increases. In fact we think that there's going to be a one in three chance in a woman's lifetime of having a fragility fracture.

A fragility fracture is a fracture that happens out of the blue, spontaneously or from normal wear and tear in life such as falling from a standing height. It can be a fracture of the wrist. It can be a fracture of the spine. These are things that we are looking for as family doctors.

The important thing about osteoporosis is the risk increases with age. Once a patient or a woman reaches over age 50, the risk of having hip fracture is about 12 percent over a lifetime. A hip fracture is an important clinical indicator for things to come and that's why doctors are so interested in trying to prevent complications for the future.

Complications could include things such as future fractures, whether a risk of having fracture after hip fracture is about 40 percent. The other complications are very worrisome, such as 20 percent of patients after having a hip fracture need to go into a long-term care facility.

The thing that we worry most about is once you've had hip fracture, the risk of death within the first year is somewhere as high as 23 to 25 percent. It's important to speak to your doctor about osteoporosis and try to reduce the risk of future fracture.

Both patients and health providers often underestimate the importance of osteoporotic fractures. When you look at the annual incidence of osteoporotic fractures of the hip, the wrist, and the spine, and you add them all up in Canada, the number of fractures over a year are actually greater than that of heart attack, stroke, and breast cancer combined.

Osteoporosis and fractures related to osteoporosis is very important. Doctors often have a gap in treatment. We're very good at treating heart attacks where patients who have been treated for heart attacks in a hospital, 80 percent of them get treatment that is evidence-based to prevent future heart attacks.

Patients who show up with a fracture related to osteoporosis, in fact only 20 percent of them get treated properly. As a patient you play a vital role in being proactive to prevent future fractures.

It's important that you speak to your family doctor about all the techniques, the treatments, and the advice that you can get about osteoporotic fractures.

For more information upon The Importance of Treating Osteoporosis and Preventing Fractures consult with your family physician.

Presenter: Dr. Daniel Ngui, Family Doctor, Vancouver, BC

Local Practitioners: Family Doctor

Test your knowledge by answering the following questions: ( 15 participated.)

The Importance of Treating Osteoporosis and Preventing Fractures

Questions
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In a patient that has osteoporosis, the risks of bone fracture are much higher than any risks associated with taking osteoporosis related medications.

1

A patient who is high risk for bone fractures have a greater than 20% risk of getting a fracture.

2

Bone fractures can cause morbidity as well as mortality.  For example, a woman who gets a hip fracture has a 23% chance of dying in the following 2 years.

3

A person who gets a bone fracture have a 40% chance of having another bone fracture at some point in the future. This is one reason it is so important to focus on the prevention of bone fractures.

This content is for informational purposes only, and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare professional with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.