Program Aims to Improve Osteoporosis Identification and Treatment

The “Own the Bone” program effectively educates patients with
osteoporosis who have recently sustained a fragility fracture
on measures to seek future treatment, improve bone strength, reduce their risk
of future fractures and facilitate conversations with their caregivers.

  William Macaulay
  William Macaulay

“The ‘Own the Bone’ program is improving identification
and treatment of osteoporosis by educating a high-risk population,” lead
researcher William Macaulay, MD, chief of the Division of Adult Reconstructive
Surgery of the Hip and Knee in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery and
director of the Center for Hip and Knee Replacement at Columbia University,

He presented interim aggregate results of a study on the program at the
2011 Annual Meeting of the American Orthopaedic Association.

More than 2 million fragility fractures occur among older U.S. adults
each year. This number is expected to increase due to projections of more than
3 million patients with osteoporosis by 2025, according to the study. In
addition, the study authors hold that osteoporosis remains underdiagnosed and

At-risk patients

The researchers aimed to identify, evaluate and treat patients aged 50
years and older with fragility fractures who were at risk of osteoporosis, and
to coordinate their care among different specialties and physicians through
their care.

More than 80 hospitals in 27 states participated in this program. Since
the launch of the program in 2009, the researchers have enrolled and educated
more than 2,200 patients with fragility fractures, encompassing a total of
4,411 fractures.

Using follow-up questionnaires, Macaulay and colleagues found that use
of the “Own the Bone” program helped to prevent future fragility

Preventing fragility fractures

“Follow-up at 90 days revealed that most had visited their doctor,
discussed their fracture and that their doctor had recommended steps to prevent
future fractures,” he said.

According to Macaulay, 81% of patients in the study were on at least one
medication or supplement for osteoporosis compared to similar studies that have
demonstrated a 15% to 20% rate.

Almost 40% had received a bone density test within 3 months of their
fracture, according to the study. Patients were proactive about their own care,
with more than 55% reporting that they performed strengthening exercises and
took steps to prevent falls in their home.

“We are hoping that these results will make this program even more
desirable to other providers, hospitals and hospital systems so that it becomes
the standard of care across the United States, and we continue to raise
awareness about the problem of fragility fracture prevention,” Macaulay
said. — by Tara Grassia

For more information:

  • Macaulay W, Nyce JD, Bunta A, et al. Own the Bone improves quality
    of care for osteoporosis patients with fragility fractures. Poster presented at
    the American Orthopaedic Association 2011 Annual Meeting. June 22-25. Boston.

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