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Fracture Care Clinic (Osteoporosis Care)

The team at Ochsner isn’t just here to help you live longer. Our goal is to give you the tools you need to stay healthy and independent.

In 2016, Ochsner became the first and only medical center in the Greater New Orleans area to devote a clinic solely to the treatment of fractures resulting from osteoporosis and to the prevention of future fractures. Located on Ochsner Medical Center on Jefferson Highway in New Orleans, the Ochsner Fracture Care Clinic gives those suffering from osteoporosis the specialized care they need to prevent further injuries.

Keeping Ahead of Osteoporosis

80 to 90% of fractures in those between the ages of 60 and 74 can be attributed to osteoporosis. 40% of postmenopausal women and about 25% of men will eventually experience osteoporotic fractures. Nearly 1 in 5 hip fracture patients ends up in a nursing home within a year after their fracture. (Source:  Surgeon General’s Report, 2004, Jrnl of Bone and Mineral Research and General’s Report, 2004, Jrnl of Bone and Mineral Research)

If you’ve had a fracture as a result of osteoporosis, there are steps you can take to help prevent a second subsequent fracture.

The team at the Ochsner Fracture Clinic offers advanced, proactive treatments to help you get in front of osteoporosis. Our Fracture Liaison Service is championed by Ochsner orthopedic surgeons. The fracture liaison service coordinator is specialized in fracture care as well as adult hip and knee reconstruction. Rounding out the team are nutritionists and physical therapists also provide specialized care for patients with osteoporosis.

What is Osteoporosis?

With osteoporosis (which means “porous bones”), the mesh-like structure inside your bones becomes thin and weak. When a bone with osteoporosis is broken, it is called a fragility fracture, a low-energy fracture or a pathological fracture. Wrist fractures, hip fractures and spine fractures are the most common.

Factors Affecting Osteoporosis Include:

  • Increased age
  • Race (people of Caucasian or Asian descent are at higher risk)
  • Gender (women are at greater risk than men)
  • Family history
  • An inactive lifestyle
  • A diet low in calcium and vitamin D
  • A small frame size
  • A reduction in sex hormones (estrogen in women and testosterone in men)
  • Eating disorders
  • Smoking
  • Certain medical conditions (Type 1 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis or inflammatory bowel disease)

Diagnosing Osteoporosis

Many people who sustain a fragility fracture are not appropriately diagnosed and treated. Sometimes fragility fractures go unnoticed – even by patients themselves. Loss of height can sometimes be a good indication that a fracture has occurred, but there are more scientific ways to diagnosis osteoporosis.

During your first visit, we will review your medical history, the history of your recent fracture, evaluate your risks for another fracture and discuss treatment options. To understand your current bone health, you will receive a limited physical exam with emphasis on bone quality and strength. In the days that follow, you may have laboratory tests, x-rays and a bone density scan.

The bone density scan is a non-invasive and painless 15-minute procedure used to diagnose osteoporosis and the severity of bone loss. You will be fully clothed during this low-radiation scan and no needles or instruments will be placed through your skin or body. You should also know that this procedure uses very little radiation.

A Fracture-Free Future

The best defense is offense. From what shoes to wear to how to make your home safer,

our team will give you a list of safety tips to prevent falls indoors as well as outdoors. Your family members will also find out what steps they can take to keep you on your feet.

 

Medication

Patients with osteoporosis may receive antiresorptive medications that slow bone loss and anabolic drugs that increase the rate of bone formation. Our team will help you determine which medications are right for you.

 

Diet and Nutrition

Nutrition and osteoporosis are closely linked. Two key nutrients in preventing osteoporosis are calcium and vitamin D. Did you know that about 41% of people are vitamin D deficient? We’ll determine if you are one of them and if supplements are required.

 

Exercise

Inactivity is one of the factors that puts you at risk of developing osteoporosis. Our physical therapists are specially trained in working with patients who have had fractures and are at risk of another one. They will introduce you to safe core strengthening and balance exercises that will help you gain strength and stay on your feet. Ochsner Fitness Center also offers classes for seniors looking to improve their bone strength and overall health. Many insurance companies will pay for your health club membership. Find out more.

For Referring Physicians

If you have a patient who has sustained a fracture as a result of osteoporosis, don’t just treat this fracture – prevent the next. One of the best things you can do for them is refer them to the Ochsner Fracture Care Clinic. To refer a patient, call 504-842-3970.