SALEM, VA – October 15, 2016 – LewisGale Medical Center announced today that it has implemented the American Orthopaedic Association’s Own the Bone Program. The program is aimed to better identify, evaluate and treat patients that suffer from an osteoporosis or low bone density-related fragility fracture (a broken bone that results from a fall from standing height or less). The program brings focus to the severe health implications of fragility fractures and the multi-faceted approach hospitals can employ to ensure these patients receive the most comprehensive care.

Statistics surrounding this health issue are alarming. According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation (NOF), up to 50% of all women and 25% of men over the age of 50 years will sustain fragility fractures in their remaining lifetime, and that more people in the United States suffer a fragility fracture each year than are diagnosed with a heart attack (MI), stroke or breast cancer combined, and is projected to significantly increase as the population ages. Studies show that patients who have had a fragility fracture are 2 to 4 times more likely to experience another fracture than those who have never had a fracture.

According to the National Committee for Quality Assurance, only 1 in 5 Medicare patients have received the osteoporosis care they needed after a fracture. The Own the Bone Program is a national Web-based quality improvement registry that incorporates 10 measures for reducing future fractures, providing LewisGale Medical Center with immediate feedback on program performance. With Own the Bone, LewisGale Medical Center reduces a huge treatment gap, ensuring that patients with fragility fractures are screened and appropriately treated for low bone density or osteoporosis.

“The Own the Bone Program will involve our nurse educators seeing hip and spine fracture patients in the hospital, initiating education, and ensuring treatment and follow up for their underlying osteoporosis,” stated James M. Leipzig, MD, FACS, spine surgeon with LewisGale Physicians and physician director who oversees the Own the Bone program at LewisGale Medical Center. “A comprehensive, multi-specialty approach will greatly reduce repeat fragility fractures for at-risk patients,” added Dr. Leipzig.