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Research

Busting Myths and Saving Bones

Women as young as 40 and men as young as 50 can have fragility fractures. It’s a real myth that fractures only happen to old people.

Every year, Dr. Earl Bogoch and his team at St. Michael’s Fracture Clinic treat hundreds of fragility fractures of the wrist, shoulder, spine, pelvis and hip—and the patients are not all elderly. Here’s how to prevent them.

These low-trauma fragility fractures can happen even when someone falls from a standing height. “These patients didn’t get hit by a car, fall down the stairs or have an industrial accident,” says Dr. Bogoch, the inaugural holder of the Brookfield Chair in Fracture Prevention. “And the fractures are a red flag warning for serious trouble down the line.”

Dr. Bogoch and his colleagues Dr. Joanna Sale and Victoria Elliot-Gibson stress that those programs aren’t just for elderly people. “Women as young as 40 and men as young as 50 can have fragility fractures,” says Dr. Sale. “It’s a real myth that fractures only happen to old people.”

Here’s the good news: Early intervention can reduce the risk of another fracture. As the clinic’s fracture prevention coordinator, Elliot-Gibson makes sure all patients receive a fracture risk assessment and are referred for bone health tests and to a specialty clinic for treatment. She says there are four ways to protect yourself at any age:

  1. Know your risks for fractures, and take bone-building medications if you need them;
  2. Incorporate adequate calcium and vitamin D in your diet;
  3. Do weight-bearing exercises; and
  4. Have a baseline bone density testing if you are over 65.

The message? It’s never too early or too late to build healthy bones.

Click here to support St. Michael’s Fracture Clinic.

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