The Fragility Fracture Network (FFN), with the endorsement of more than 80 leading medical organisations from around the world, has issued a global call-to-action to tackle an incoming bone fracture health crisis.
With an ageing population across the globe, the incidence of chronic diseases affecting older people is expected to dramatically rise. Osteoporosis, falls and fragility fractures are expected to have a major effect on society and healthcare.
The global incidence of one of the most common and debilitating fragility fractures, hip fracture, was estimated to be 2.7 million cases per year by 2010. This number is projected to increase to at least 4.5 million by 2050. Negatively impacting individual quality of life and healthcare budgets worldwide.
In Australia approximately 27,000 people broke their hip last year, each costing on average more than $25,000. About half of those who suffer a hip fracture broke another bone in the months or years before they broke their hip.
This sequence, where a major and often life-threatening fracture is preceded by an early “sentinel” fragility fracture calls for a radical change in which our health and community care systems currently treat and rehabilitate people who have sustained fragility fractures. Preventing the next fracture can be achieved by making sure that health professionals always respond to the first fracture.
In short, let the first fracture be the last.
"Fragility fractures can devastate the quality of life of people who suffer them and are pushing our already overstretched health systems to a breaking point," said Professor Karsten E. Dreinhöfer, lead author of the FFNs Call to Action. "As the first of the baby boomers are now into their seventies, we must take control of this problem immediately before it is too late."
The SOS Fracture Alliance supports the FFNs Global Call to Action and urges for action to implement secondary fracture prevention programs and improve the quality of life of our ageing population both in Australia and around the world.
Read the Global Call to Action at http://fragilityfracturenetwork.org/cta/