BANGOR — Osteoporosis is responsible for more than a staggering two million fractures each year, that is one fracture every three seconds! The health of your bones is increasingly important as you age. Older adults often have bone loss or a low bone density that makes the bones weaker, and this can lead to an increased risk of fractures. According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation up to 50 percent of all women and 25 percent of men over the age of 50 years will sustain a fragility fracture, which result from low energy trauma, such as a fall from standing height or less, and would otherwise not be expected to result in a fracture. Studies show that patients who have had a fragility fracture are two to four times more likely to experience another fracture than those who have never had a fracture. Yet, 80 percent of Medicare patients do not receive recommended osteoporosis care following a fragility fracture.
Northern Light Orthopedics at Eastern Maine Medical Center was recently recognized as a Star Performer by the American Orthopaedic Association’s Own the Bone program, which helps provide secondary (after fracture) osteoporosis care to prevent future fractures, pain and suffering, and cost that comes with these injuries. This Star Performer achievement is reserved only for institutions that perform the highest level of bone health care after a fragility fracture to prevent future fractures.
The Northern Light Orthopedics Bone Health program achieved a 100 percent compliance rate of the 10 Own the Bone prevention measures, including: educating patients on the importance of Calcium and Vitamin D, physical activity, falls prevention, limiting alcohol intake and quitting smoking; recommending and initiating bone mineral density testing; discussing pharmacotherapy and treatment (when applicable); and providing written communication to the patient and their primary care provider regarding specific risk factors and treatment recommendations.
“Through our participation in Own the Bone and recognition as an Own the Bone Star Performer, this team has demonstrated a commitment to helping patients understand their risk for future fractures and the steps they can take to prevent them,” explains Kathy Forti-Gallant, DNP, FNP-C, RNFA, Northern Light Orthopedics. Northern Light Orthopedics Bone Health program also provides primary (before fracture) osteoporosis care, as are several other primary care practices in the area through Northern Light Health. Other practices such as rheumatology and endocrinology are collaborating on these efforts, which are key to building this program for our community.
To learn more about the program call 207-973-9980 or discuss with your primary care provider.