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Role of Fracture Liaison Service Program in Reducing Refracture Rate in the Elderly Osteoporotic Trauma Patients Presenting With Vertebral Compression Fracture: A Six-Year Study

Am Surg. 021 Sep 22;31348211047512.

Introduction: As the elderly population of the United States and the world increases, so does the incidence of osteoporotic fragility fractures from a fall or minor injury. This results in a large cost to the health care system. This cost is further increased as more than 50% of individuals will have refractures within the first year. In order to reduce the refracture rate in such patients, we enrolled our elderly trauma patients with vertebral compression fractures and vertebral augmentation in a Fracture Liaison Service (FLS) clinic for two years and reevaluated their refracture rate.

Method: This is a retrospective analysis of 720 patients. 142 patients (Group A) were seen between 2012 and 2014 before establishing the FLS program and 578 patients (Group B) were seen between 2015 and 2020 after implementation of the FLS program. The patients enrolled in the FLS program were followed for two years after sustaining a vertebral compression fracture. The data collected included age, sex, serum calcium and vitamin D levels, dual energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) scan, 10-year fracture risk (FRAX) score, pressure measurements in PSI taken during vertebral augmentation, as well as the refracture rate. The data collected were analyzed and compared between the two groups using the Student's t-test and chi-square test.

Results: There was significant reduction in the refracture rate of pre-FLS vs post-FLS vertebral, as well as other fractures in the FLS group (pre-FLS: 48.9% vs post-FLS: 37.0%; P = .01). There was no significant difference between groups A and B in regard to the mean serum level of calcium (9.44 mg/dL vs 9.53 mg/dL), vitamin D level (35.04 ng/mL vs 41.39 ng/mL), DXA scan for spine (-.52 vs -.76) and for femur (-1.77 vs -1.52), and 10-year refracture risk for osteoporotic major fracture (FRAX score-mean: 22.6% vs 19.2%) and for hip fracture (9.18% vs 7.53%). There was a significant difference in the mean age between the groups (79.5 vs 73.5 years; P = .01). Of those who underwent vertebral augmentation, 235 had Pressure Scale Index (PSI) measurements taken. There was a trend in increasing refracture rate when PSI ≤199 compared with those who had PSI ≥200, although statistical significance was not met (33.9% vs 27.0%, P = .21).

Conclusion: A Fracture Liaison Service program will improve the bone health of geriatric osteoporotic patients presenting to the trauma service with vertebral compression fractures and thus reduces the subsequent refracture rate. Further study is needed to evaluate the best PSI used to impact reduction in refracture rate.

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