Mary tripped on the bottom step at the theater and broke her hip. She was taken to MedStar Georgetown University Hospital Emergency Department where she was evaluated and admitted to the orthopedic service. The following day, an orthopaedic surgeon performed a procedure to repair her broken hip. While an inpatient at the hospital, Mary underwent several tests including a complete blood count, kidney and liver tests, a calcium test, and a vitamin D test
MedStar’s Fracture Liaison Service (FLS) coordinator visited Mary to talk about her fracture as well as her family history, osteoporosis risk factors and the importance of assessment and treatment. Mary was given educational material, instructions on calcium intake, vitamin D intake and dietary advice. She was then given an appointment for follow-up with the FLS physician champion after discharge.
At her follow-up appointment, Mary was given a bone density test, also called a DXA scan, to measure the bone density of her lower back, other (non-fractured) hip and wrist. Even though her mom had the disease, Mary was shocked to learn that she too had osteoporosis.
Based on Mary’s fracture, her test results, and her history, the FLS team developed a treatment plan and worked with Mary to help her reduce her risk of a secondary fracture. Mary changed her diet and started on medication reduce her risk of future fractures. She also worked with physical therapy to improve her balance and reduce the risk for future falls.
Today, she continues to manage her condition by taking a daily vitamin D tablet, eating more dairy products, and continuing on her osteoporosis medication.
The Fracture Liaison Service provided Mary with education, coordinated care and personalized medicine. It is an effective model for the secondary prevention of fractures, with treatment being focused on those who have the highest risk.