Research Shows Costs for Osteoporosis and Femur Fractures is Rising

Home » Research Shows Costs for Osteoporosis and Femur Fractures is Rising
September 30, 2019
Edward Smith

Research Shows Costs for Osteoporosis and Femur Fractures is Rising

Recently, a news article was published showing that the cost of care for individuals with osteoporosis, which can lead to femur fractures, has risen more than 118 percent in the United States. Osteoporosis is one of the major risk factors for broken bones which includes fractures of the femur. According to information presented at the annual meeting of the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research, the costs related to osteoporosis are rising rapidly, having more than doubled in the past 15 years. Because osteoporosis can lead to significant complications, including broken bones, it is essential for everyone to understand this health condition and its risks.

What is Osteoporosis?

Loosely translated, osteoporosis means porous bone. In the medical community, this is the term used to describe bones that have a low density. In general, the denser bones are, the heavier they are, and the harder they are to break. As bones lose their density, they also lose their ability to resist impacts and various external forces, such as those involved in motor vehicle collisions and falls. This leaves bones more prone to breaking. Unfortunately, for many individuals, the first sign of osteoporosis is a femur fracture. On the other hand, osteoporosis doesn’t develop overnight.

From the time people learn how to walk, their bones are continually developing and changing. Up until the age of 30, people have the ability to add mass to their bones. This can be done by eating foods that are high in calcium such as milk, cheese, and other dairy products. In addition, vitamin D is essential for bones mass, which most people get from sun exposure.

At the age of 30, most people reach their peak bone mass. After this point, the focus shifts to preserving bone density and preventing osteoporosis. This is done through a continued healthy diet and regular exercise. During this time period, doctors will regularly evaluate someone’s bone density using bone imaging, typically called a DEXA scan. If someone’s bone density is significantly below the average, they are diagnosed with osteoporosis.

Osteoporosis is a Highly Prevalent Condition: The Data

According to medical professionals who presented data at the annual conference, osteoporosis is a very common condition. While it crosses all ethnicities, it is more prevalent in individuals who have limited access to healthcare. Of note, osteoporosis is far more common in women than men. As a result, these individuals are also prone to suffering major bone injuries including femur fractures.

The researchers analyzed bone mineral density using information from the National Inpatient Sample (NIS) and the National Emergency Department Sample. Using this data, the researchers were able to estimate the number of “fragility fractures.” Fragility fractures can occur in locations such as the hip, the femur, the pelvis, and the spine. Furthermore, fragility fractures are typically the result of diseases such as osteoporosis.

The researchers announced that close to one percent of all emergency department visits, or more than 4.5 million ED cases, were due to fragility fractures. In addition, about three percent of all inpatient stays were due to these fractures. On the other hand, not all fractures were seen with the same frequency.

The Number of Femur Fractures is Rising

Between the years 2010 and 2014, the researchers noted that the number of femur fractures rose about 1.5 percent. On average, if someone was diagnosed with a femur fracture, an individual spent more than six days in the hospital. Medications, surgery, equipment, and staffing all contribute to an expensive inpatient stay for a femur fracture. This leads to rising healthcare costs, which the researchers also noticed.

Between the years of 1998 and 2000, the total healthcare costs due to osteoporosis were about $28 billion. Between the years of 2012 and 2014, this cost was $73.6 billion. This represents an increase of 118 percent. With the rising number of femur fractures, this should come as no surprise. Still, more has to be done to address this issue.

Since the number of femur fractures is rising, more needs to be done to prevent these injuries from occurring. Individuals with osteoporosis should ensure they are receiving appropriate medical care to minimize their risk of suffering a severe injury. Measures should also be introduced to reduce the rate of falls, one of the most common causes of fractures in individuals with osteoporosis.

Sacramento Femur Fracture Lawyer 

I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento femur fracture lawyer. Osteoporosis is a major risk factor in developing a femur fracture. Research shows that this is becoming more expensive. If someone you care for has been diagnosed with a serious femur fracture due to the negligence of another person or entity, please contact me today at (916) 921-6400 or (800) 404-5400 for free, friendly legal advice.

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