Reviewed by Louise Chang on May 01, 2011

Sources

Ethel Siris, MD. Dir., Toni Stabile Osteoporosis Center. Columbia University Medical Center. President, National Osteoporosis Foundation. Director, National Osteoporosis Risk Assessment Study (NORA).

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Video Transcript

If you are a woman or a man over the age of 50 who has a fracture, you've got to be sure that your physician evaluates you for why you had that fracture.

And this business about oh, it was such a terrible fall anybody would have fractured doesn't work.

Sure, if you're hit by a car, and you fracture, maybe you've got great bones, but you were hit so hard, that anybody would have fractured.

The way to find that out is to get a bone density test. On the other hand, if you fracture because you slip in the kitchen, or you slip in the bathroom, or you slip on a parking lot,

and you break your wrist, or you break your hip, you've gotta have it checked out.

I mean, did you do it in part because you've already got low bone density and you're at risk for another fracture.

In terms of the elderly who break their hips, most not all, but most hip fractures occur in people 78, 80 and above.

It's the children of those people who have got to say, thank you very much for fixing the fracture, yes, she needs a period of rehabilitation,

or he needs a period of rehabilitation, but we have to also assess what's going on here.

You know, if you have a heart attack, and they go in and do an angiography, and they say oh, there's a clogged artery, let's put a stint in, they don't then shake your hand and say goodbye.

They say you know, you better get your, let's look at your blood pressure, let's get you to stop smoking, let's get your cholesterol profile measured and if it isn't good,

let's be sure we lower it. Let's make sure you're not diabetic.

I mean it's the same thing with fractures. A fracture is a bone attack, maybe, okay. You want, we want to prevent fractures.

Fractures are common, one in two women, one in four men after the age of 50. A couple million fractures happen in this country every year.

It costs us close to 20 billion dollars every year to fix those fractures. I want to spend money preventing fractures, not fixing them.

So, consumers have got to be proactive, and there are guidelines for what we need to do.