Screening Postmenopausal Women for Fall and Fracture Prevention

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Abstract

Fragility fracture prevention has been historically associated with the diagnosis and treatment of osteoporosis. Given that the strongest determinant of fracture is falls, it is critical to add fall risk into clinical decision-making guidelines for fracture prevention. This special interest paper proposes an algorithm based on 2 validated tools: (1) World Health Organization's Fracture Risk Assessment Tool, which evaluates probability of fracture and (2) Functional Gait Assessment, which evaluates fall risk. Physical therapists can use this algorithm to better identify patients at greatest risk for fracture in order to customize interventions designed to promote bone health, minimize falls, and ultimately prevent fractures. Recommendations for referral, patient education, and exercise are provided for categories of varying fall and fracture risk.

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