I was an orthopedic surgeon for 30 years before I started to treat osteoporosis. I started because most physicians in my area only treated DXA t-scores. I wanted to treat patients.
Orthopedics is all about treating fractures, and restoring function. Unfortunately too many older patients lose their independent living after a wrist, shoulder, foot or ankle fragility fracture. The death rate from hip fractures is well known. No one pays much attention to sub-clinical vertebral fractures.
Kyphosis is incredibly debilitating. You are always short of breath. You can’t see or reach up. You cannot eat or drink as you should because your lungs have stolen room in your abdomen. You have decreased function, decreased quality of life, and decreased life expectancy. Preventing kyphosis is just as important as preventing hip fractures.
Our primary service to patients should be detecting all risk factors for fracture, including morphometric spine fractures. Our mission is to protect patients from future fractures. VFA and FRAX can assist us. Use them every time.
Jay Ginther, MD, CCD