February 2003 Bulletin

Surgeon General’s workshop focuses on osteoporosis and bone health

The government’s stated objectives for "Healthy People 2010" include several goals for improving bone health, so it was no surprise that "Osteoporosis and Bone Health" was the subject of the first national workshop sponsored by Surgeon General Vice Admiral Richard H. Carmona, MD, MPH, FACS.

Representing the AAOS at the invitation-only event were William W. Tipton, Jr., MD, executive director, and Laura Tosi, MD, chair of the AAOS Women’s Health Issues Committee and chief of the division of pediatric orthopaedic surgery at Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, D.C. Among the topics discussed were:

"The goal of the workshop was to create a document on osteoporosis that would increase public and physician awareness of this issue," said Dr. Tipton. "The Academy’s presence at the workshop acknowledged the important role of orthopaedists and the impact of osteoporosis on fractures."

Dr. Tosi, who was a presenter during the meeting, focused on three compelling reasons for orthopaedists to look beyond traditional fracture care for older men and women. They are: the risk of refracture, the high prevalence of undetected disorders of bone metabolism in individuals with osteoporosis, and the fact that interventions do work.

"Osteoporosis is a primary bone disease that requires evaluation and appropriate available treatment," explains Dr. Tipton. "Orthopaedists can no longer be isolated and focused simply on fracture repair. Delivering quality care means that the orthopaedist who treats an 80-year-old woman with a wrist fracture must also advise her about the primary bone disease, osteoporosis."

The results of the meeting will be incorporated in The Surgeon General’s Report on Osteoporosis and Bone Health, which is targeted for release in summer 2004.

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