Fracture prevention strategies in patients presenting to Australian hospitals with minimal-trauma fractures: a major treatment gap
The aim of this study was to examine current fracture prevention strategies through the recognition, investigation and treatment of osteoporosis in patients presenting to acute hospitals with minimal-trauma fracture. Methods:
A retrospective audit using a standardized database was conducted in 16 Australian hospitals. This involved 1829 cases of minimal-trauma fracture initially presenting to hospital emergency departments during 2003–2005. Cases of minimal-trauma fracture were retrospectively identified using diagnosis-related group fracture codes and case record review at each site. Relevant data were entered into a standardized database and analysed centrally and independently. Risk factors for osteoporosis, investigations, interventions and discharge follow up were recorded. Results:
The percentage of minimal-trauma fracture patients who underwent investigation or initiated therapy designed to prevent subsequent minimal-trauma fracture was obtained. Less than 13% of patients presenting to hospital with minimal-trauma fractures had risk factors for fracture identified. Ten per cent were appropriately investigated, 12% were commenced on calcium and 12% on vitamin D. Eight per cent started bisphosphonates and 1% selective oestrogens receptor modulators in the acute setting. Conclusion:
Most patients presenting to Australian hospitals with minimal-trauma fracture are neither investigated nor treated for osteoporosis. As this group is at high risk of subsequent fracture, this is a missed opportunity to reduce fracture burden.