In our consumer health series, Vital Signs: Fragility fractures. Fall from a standing height or less and your body should be able to withstand it without fracturing a bone. When injury does occur, it may mean you have osteoporosis.
Dr. Joseph Borrelli, an orthopaedic surgeon at Texas Health Arlington Memorial Hospital and with Texas Health Physicians Group, says a fracture’s often the first sign people have of their bones thinning.
Highlights from Dr. Borrelli’s interview:
Fragility fractures are a significant problem: “Over two million fragility fractures occur each year in this country alone, more than heart attacks, strokes and new cases of breast cancer combined. The most common areas are the hip (the bone most susceptible to osteoporosis), shoulders and the ankle.”
Why those with a fragility fracture often fall again within one to three years: Because the underlying condition hasn’t been adequately treated (with) nutritional counseling, fall prevention and, of course, the building blocks of good bone, Vitamin D and calcium, and, when indicated, the need for other medication.
Who’s most at risk for osteoporosis:
- Caucasian women
- Postmenopausal females
- Chronically ill patients
- Those less than 127 pounds
- Patients with a genetic predisposition to osteoporosis.
- One in four men is likely to sustain a fragility fracture in their lifetime
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