Putting the Brakes on Breaks: Osteoporosis Screening and Fracture Prevention

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This prospective study sought to implement a screening tool to identify and risk stratify at-risk patients for osteoporosis and evaluate patient knowledge of osteoporosis and fragility fractures in an orthopedic trauma clinic affiliated with a level 1 trauma academic center.


Of 297 eligible patients, 291 were screened and risk stratified. Patients completed an osteoporosis screening questionnaire and were risk stratified. Lifestyle advice was given to patients at low fracture risk. A dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry scan was ordered for patients at intermediate fracture risk. A referral was initiated for treatment to a bone health specialist in high fracture risk patients. Twenty patients completed a knowledge-based pretest/posttest.


A total of 291 patients were screened, which represented 97.7% of patients over the age of 50. Of those patients, 165 (56.7%) patients met criteria for further osteoporosis evaluation as they were considered either intermediate or high risk for future fractures. One hundred thirty-six (82.4%) patients were referred for bone mineral density evaluation. For the knowledge-based evaluation portion, patients had a 33% gain in knowledge (P = .0004). The largest knowledge deficit identified pertained to osteoporosis risk factors and lifestyle management.


The use of an osteoporosis screening questionnaire in the orthopedic trauma clinic produced clinically significant improvement in identification of at-risk patients. A lack of knowledge regarding osteoporosis and fragility fractures was found to exist among these patients.


The implementation of an osteoporosis screening tool to identify, risk stratify, and treat patients with osteoporosis and related fragility fractures can be successfully integrated into a busy clinical practice.

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