Clinical efficacy of a fragility care program in distal radius fracture patients

Shumaila Sarfani, Tyson Scrabeck, Ann E. Kearns, Richard A. Berger, Sanjeev Kakar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Purpose To assess the quality of an initiative to improve the diagnosis and management of osteoporosis in patients over 50 years of age with distal radius fractures (DRF). Methods A retrospective review was conducted to determine the baseline percentage of individuals undergoing osteoporosis screening after DRF. Thereafter, a study was implemented in which DRF patients who were not being treated for osteoporosis or had not recently undergone screening were offered a dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry scan and referral to endocrinology at the initial hand surgery clinic visit. Patients who declined participation were contacted by a patient educator to discuss the benefits of screening and address their concerns. Those who then wanted to receive an osteoporosis evaluation were scheduled for bone scanning and endocrinology consultation. Results During the baseline period, 7 patients (15%) were screened, and 41 (85%) were not screened. During the active phase of the initiative, 82 patients over 50 years of age were treated for a DRF at our institution. A total of 44 patients were identified for potential osteoporosis screening, and 35 patients met inclusion criteria. Of these, 19 (54%) agreed to screening after the initial orthopedic evaluation, and 16 declined. After speaking to a patient educator, 9 of these 16 patients agreed to screening. Of the remaining 7 patients, 4 again declined screening and 3 were unavailable by telephone. Overall, 80% of patients who were identified in the initiative agreed to osteoporosis screening after the combination of recommendation during hand surgery clinic visit and patient education by telephone, and 64% were diagnosed with osteoporosis/osteopenia as a result of completing screening. Conclusions An integrated model of care among orthopedic surgeons, patient educators, and endocrinologists substantially increased screening for osteoporosis after DRF. Type of study/level of evidence Prognostic II.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)664-669
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Hand Surgery
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2014


  • Distal radius fracture
  • osteoporosis fragility

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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