Bone Health Program
Norton Women’s and Kosair Children’s Hospital is the first in the community to establish a program dedicated to proactively preventing and treating osteoporosis. The Bone Health Program uses a global approach to wellness that focuses on awareness and education for women and men. Through our partnership with Own the Bone, a Web-based patient registry supported by the American Orthopaedic Association, we offer preventive services and treatment plans for patients ranging in age from adolescents to seniors who are at risk for or coping with bone health issues.
Osteoporosis: A silent disease
Bone health issues are more common than you might think, yet they often go untreated. Approximately 9 million women and 2 million men in the United States have osteoporosis, a condition that causes bones to be weak or brittle. It can lead to various health problems, including an increased risk for falls and broken bones. Most people with osteoporosis are unaware they have it until a serious fracture occurs.
Bone health statistics
The U.S. surgeon general has identified osteoporosis and fragility fractures as major public health issues. Here’s why:
- More than 2 million fragility fractures occur each year in the U.S. — that’s more than cases of heart attack, stroke and breast cancer combined.
- After a hip fracture, 1 in 4 women and 1 in 3 men will die within a year.
- 50 percent of people who experience a hip fracture will use a wheelchair, walker or cane for the rest of their lives.
- 80 percent of fragility fracture patients do not receive appropriate osteoporosis care.
- More than 44 million people have low bone density or osteoporosis.
Benefits and features
The Bone Health Program at Norton Women’s and Kosair Children’s Hospital screens, identifies and cares for individuals with bone health issues. It also provides education and support systems for making lifestyle changes to help bone health. The goal is to see improvement in the statistics and bring an end to second fractures, fragility fractures and increased risk for falls. By participating in the program, you will have access to the following benefits:
- A full range of specialists, therapists and health care professionals, including a physical therapist, dietitian, nurse practitioner and osteoporosis specialists
- A nurse navigator to provide one-on-one support and assist you with accessing bone health resources and refer you to members of the multidisciplinary team
- Educational materials geared toward your specific age group and gender
- Health and nutrition resources
- Treatment of osteoporotic fractures
- The Own the Bone toolbox, which includes preventive measures such as lifestyle counseling, bone mineral testing and pharmacotherapy
- Quarterly classes through the Marshall Women’s Health and Education Center
- A state-of-the-art bone densitometry DEXA scanner and dedicated technologists specifically trained in bone density scanning
Our bone health nurse navigator is a specially trained professional who assists in all aspects of the patient care experience. In addition to serving as a single point of contact for our bone health patients, she is a compassionate educator, advocate and friend. Our navigator also refers patients to the appropriate physician’s office or health care resource as needed.
We can help you take the first steps toward preventing bone fractures, osteoporosis and more. If you believe you may be at risk, call our nurse navigator today at (502) 899-6310. For more information on the bone health program or to register for a class, call (502) 629-1234.
Janet Dishion, PhD, RD/CN, IBCLC, is a nutritionist at Norton Healthcare and shares why we should pay attention to our diets when it comes to healthy bones.