Strong bones after 50: Fracture liaison services explained

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Strong bones after 50 is a guide that provides jargon-free information to patients and carers for supporting older people who have broken a bone following a fall.

Background

There are an estimated half a million fragility fractures in the UK each year, many of which could be prevented with earlier diagnosis. Osteoporosis is a condition that weakens bones, making them fragile and more likely to break. However, the link is not being made between fractures in the over 50s and undetected osteoporosis. A fifth of women who have broken a bone break three or more before being diagnosed.

By giving patients information about bone health and fracture prevention, we hope that they will have the confidence to approach their doctor and ask for further investigations. Finding out more about risk factors can also be helpful, as some of these can be addressed by the patient, such as such as not smoking or drinking excessive alcohol and having a healthy body weight.

Recommendations

Working with a patient focus group, the guide tells patients:

  • the minimum standards of care they can expect
  • what investigations they may undergo
  • possible treatment options
  • what they can do to help themselves.

On the advice of the patient focus group, we have also produced an animation to complement the printed leaflet. We hope this will enable us to reach a larger audience and that the animation will be more accessible to people who find it hard to use standard printed material. Both the leaflet and animation were produced with a group of patients and the National Osteoporosis Society (NOS). 

Contact

If you have any questions or would like further information about this, or any other of our services, please contact the Fracture Liaison Service Database by telephone on +44 (0)20 3075 1511 or by email at FLSDB@rcplondon.ac.uk.

Who's involved

Organisations

  • Patient and Carer Network
  • National Osteoporosis Society
  • Health Quality Improvement Partnership
  • Public Health England
  • British Orthopaedic Association
  • British Geriatric Society