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Beyond Hip: Importance of Other Nonspinal Fractures

      Abstract

      It is widely accepted that hip and spine fractures are associated with substantial morbidity, but there is growing awareness that other fractures are under-recognized. The incidence of nonspinal, nonhip fractures is higher than for hip fractures because they occur at an earlier age. Furthermore, the incidence of nonspinal, nonhip fractures exceeds that of hip fractures in men and women >80 years old. Nonspinal, nonhip fractures are associated with considerable morbidity. On average, women with humeral, ankle, distal forearm, and foot fractures experience substantial numbers of limited activity days, and nonspinal, nonhip fractures account for almost a third of health care expenditures attributable to osteoporotic fractures. Nonspinal, nonhip fractures are associated with low bone mineral density, thus it may be possible to identify those at risk. Because these fractures also are indicative of increased risk at other sites, those susceptible might benefit from assessments including these other fracture types. It is the clinician’s responsibility to attend to and recognize that nonspinal, nonhip fractures are usually associated with osteoporosis and should be treated.

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