Wrist Fractures Less Likely Evaluated for Osteoporosis

Study finds hip and spine fracture patients more apt to undergo bone density scans
By Rick Ansorge
HealthDay Reporter

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 7 (HealthDay News) -- Osteoporosis evaluation and management is less common in patients with wrist fractures than in those with hip and spine fractures, according to a national Korean cohort study published in the Oct. 1 issue of the Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery.

Hyun Sik Gong, M.D., of the Seoul National University Bundang Hospital in Seongnam, South Korea, and colleagues performed a retrospective nationwide cohort study that included data collected in 2007 from the Korean Health Insurance Review Agency. The researchers analyzed and compared the incidences of hip, spine and wrist fractures in women with osteoporosis over 50 years of age. They also evaluated the frequency of bone density scans and medical management.

The researchers found that diagnostic bone density scans were performed less often among wrist-fracture patients (8.7 percent) than among hip-fracture and spine-fracture patients (22.5 and 28.8 percent, respectively). They also found considerably fewer wrist-fracture patients were managed with at least one approved osteoporosis medication (7.5 percent) compared to hip-fracture and spine-fracture patients (22.4 and 30.1 percent, respectively).

"Accordingly, we find it disappointing that many orthopedic and hand surgeons treating wrist fractures choose not to provide osteoporosis evaluation and treatment when, in our opinion, they properly should do so," the authors conclude.

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