Fractures get no respect. 20% of women and over 30% of men over 65 die within 6 months of a Hip Fracture. But nobody is worried about hip fractures!
Hip Fracture is never mentioned on the death certificate. The complications of the hip fracture get all the credit. Pneumonia, pulmonary embolis (blood clots), worsening heart failure, kidney failure or even septicemia (infection in the blood stream) from bed sores might make the list, but not the initial event, the hip fracture.
Nearly 80% of Vertebral Fractures are mistaken for pulled muscles or arthritis in the back. Yet vertebral collapse fractures are a strong indicator of death within the year in men and women. Again, pneumonia, heart failure, respiratory failure (shortness of breath), malnutrition from inability to eat enough get the blame. The vertebral fractures and resulting kyphosis (humpback) never get credit for the misery and death they cause.
More women die each year from complications of fractures than from breast cancer or stroke or heart attack. Nobody seems to care, because the fracture itself is never blamed for the complications it causes.
If we identified the original fracture starting the rapid decline, we would be more concerned with bone health and fracture risk. As it is we ignore fracture risk at our peril, especially as we get older like me (60’s).
Respect Fracture Risk. Take Control of your future.
Jay Ginther, MD