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


Several studies document what we all know – that, in the vast majority of patients treated in fracture units for low-trauma fractures, there is no attempt to identify and treat factors predisposing to further fractures. We treat this fracture, send ‘em home and wait for the next. How mindless is that?

Equally, it is completely unrealistic to expect orthopaedic surgeons, focused on surgically treating a tide of challenging osteoporotic fractures, to assess the risk in each patient of further falls and the degree to which bone strength is compromised, and be responsible for prescribing treatments which will reduce risk in a cost-effective way. Yet the fracture unit is absolutely the best (and most cost-effective) place to identify the group of patients who will benefit most from preventive measures.

The answer is to work in a system, which connects up the right people to give each patient what they need. Surgeons to heal the current fracture (together with rehabilitationists to restore function and confidence) and physicians to assess and treat falls risk and osteoporosis.

Making this happen in practice requires answers to questions only you can answer:

  • who are the best physicians for our fracture unit to work with?

  • what is the best mechanism for selecting the appropriate patients to refer?

  • how do we persuade the commissioners to pay for it?

This is an issue in which it is worth us investing a lot of effort: we will ourselves soon be old and we must get this right in time for when we need it!

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