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7th Congress of the European Federation of National Associations of Orthopaedics and Traumatology, Lisbon - 4-7 June, 2005


Fracture is the only clinically relevant aspect of osteoporosis—a major public health problem in many countries. The strongest predictor for a new fragility fracture is a previous one. For instance, a patient with one osteoporotic vertebral compression fracture has about a seven-fold increased hip fracture risk; a patient with two compression fractures a 14-fold hip fracture risk. Today, we have evidence based and efficient osteoporosis drugs as well as non-pharmacologic methods for fracture prophylaxis. In risk group patients it often is possible to halve the fracture risk.

The orthopaedic surgeon is the first and sometimes the only doctor a fracture patien sees. Therefore, as orthopaedic surgeons, we have a great opportunity—and indeed an onus—to identify patients with increased fracture risk, and to do something about it.

Imagine patients with myocardial infarction or stroke discharged from hospital without blood pressure control or having a biochemical profile taken? Such negligence is, alas, not uncommon for patients with fragility fractures. We must think in terms of absolute fracture risk, and implement today’s evidence based knowledge.

Secondary prophylaxis should be an integrated part in fracture treatment. And this calls for a multidisciplinary and multiprofessional teamwork including surgeons, geriatricians, endocrinologists and general practitioners, as well as nurses, physiotherapists and a wide range of other paramedical specialists. Such “fracture chains” will reduce the number of unnecessary and preventable injuries and will have a great impact in terms of cost and suffering. This symposium will give an overveiw of fracture-preventing strategies.

Theses abstracts were prepared by Professor Roger Lemaire. Correspondence should be addressed to EFORT Central Office, Freihofstrasse 22, CH-8700 Küsnacht, Switzerland.