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University Hospital recognized nationally for preventing bone fractures

University Hospital is among a select group of health care organizations being recognized by the American Orthopaedic Association for improving patient bone health through a program called Own the Bone.  U.S. News & World Report recently published the Star Performers list in its 2023 Best Hospitals edition.

“Often times a patient’s first encounter with managing osteoporosis or bone fragility is after they have a fracture,” said Dr. Animesh Agarwal, an orthopedic surgeon at University Hospital and director of the hospital’s Own the Bone program. “Our goal through the program is to prevent a second bone fracture.”

The Orthopaedic Association says the number of bone fractures linked to osteoporosis are at near-epidemic proportions in the United States.  Americans will suffer more than two million fractures because of fragile bones this year, yet 80% of those patients will not receive follow-up care that can prevent future fractures. The consequences can devastate a family. Nearly 25% of those who suffer hip fractures will die within a year. Others become less mobile and require long-term care.

Medical groups participating in the Own the Bone program seek to turn around those numbers by introducing patients to measures aimed at improving bone health and preventing future breaks. Prevention strategies include: calcium and vitamin D supplements, weight-bearing exercises and education to prevent falls.  Patients are counseled to stop smoking, limit alcohol intake, have bone density scans and take appropriate medicines that can strengthen bones. The association recognizes organizations where 75% of patients enrolled in the program comply with at least five prevention strategies.

The program at University Hospital is part of the trauma unit where many of the bone fragility cases are first seen after older people fall. Without preventative treatment, the patients are at a high risk of additional fractures.

Dr. Agarwal says the Own the Bone award recognizes University Hospital’s team as being committed to more than just repairing broken bones.

“The award signifies we are a place patients can count on to have their bone health managed and future fractures prevented,” he said.

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