Fracture Clinic Screening partnership now offers on-site specialist follow-up
On Saturday, May 2, Jacqueline Brown was tossing a volleyball around at the Trent University soccer field while she waited for a game to start.
Moments later, her fun evening took a painful turn when she lost her balance while moving backwards, ultimately breaking her fall with her hands. Unfortunately, she also broke her wrist.
Jacqueline ended up in the Emergency Department at Peterborough Regional Health Centre (PRHC) where a doctor’s examination and x-ray images confirmed she had a fragility fracture – a broken bone from an activity that would not normally cause a bone to break – in her right wrist. A displacement of the bone meant a surgeon would need to insert a plate and pins into her wrist to stabilize it before putting a cast on.
Three weeks after her surgery, on May 22, Jacqueline visited the Fracture Clinic at PRHC for her scheduled follow-up appointment. It was there that she first met Jane Gauthier, the Fracture Prevention Coordinator who works at the health centre through a partnership with Osteoporosis Canada. Jane screened Jacqueline for osteoporosis risk factors and ultimately referred her for further physician assessment.
At least one in three women and one in five men will suffer an osteoporotic fracture during their lifetime. Osteoporosis causes 70 to 90 per cent of hip fractures (about 30,000 annually in Canada), and approximately half of patients who experience a hip fracture had previously broken another bone – a “signal” fracture – before breaking their hip.
Earlier this year, PRHC expanded its Fracture Clinic Screening Program, and now direct referrals are made between the hospital’s orthopedic surgeons and specialists in the Medical Outpatient Program, who provide follow-up and preventive treatment for osteoporosis.
“I would have never thought I was at risk for osteoporosis before this,” says Jacqueline. “Jane was so wonderful, she provided me with so much information and so many resources to help me understand what I could do to take care of my bones. I had no idea until Jane explained it to me that I could be at risk for another fracture if I didn’t make important changes in my lifestyle.”
From Jacqueline’s perspective as a patient, having a streamlined continuum of care available under one roof has made all the difference as she recovers from her wrist fracture and works to prevent a similar occurrence in the future.
“It seems like I’ve been on a roller-coaster ride since this happened,” she says. “I’ve had physical therapy for my wrist. I’ve had my molars pulled and dry sockets. I’ve been dealing with diverticulitis and bladder infections. I’ve been taking care of my husband and my father since my mother passed away. I’m generally an optimist – this is just one of those situations where everything seems to have happened at once.
“When I broke my wrist, everything at PRHC went so smoothly. Everyone called me. I knew what I should do all along the way because everyone was taking care of me. I can’t say enough about it.”
● More than 80% of all fractures in people 50+ are caused by osteoporosis
● The Fracture Clinic Screening Program at PRHC has been developed in partnership with Osteoporosis Canada, in alignment with the goals of the Ontario Osteoporosis Strategy
● The goal of the Fracture Clinic Screening Program is to increase referrals of fracture patients for assessment and treatment of osteoporosis, to reduce the risk of re-fracture
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For more information:
Michelene Ough, Communications Lead
Peterborough Regional Health Centre
Tel: 705-743-2121, ext. 4259