Background: The investigation and treatment of osteoporosis after minimal trauma fracture (MTF) is regarded as sub-optimal. There is strong evidence of the benefit of identifying and treating osteoporosis after MTF and there has been discussion of the possible role that orthopaedic surgeons might play in the management of osteoporosis after MTF.

Questions/purposes: The study surveyed orthopaedic surgeons in rural and regional south east Australia to determine their attitudes to investigation and management of osteoporosis, the role health professionals should play, and the communication and co-ordination of follow-up care.

Methods: A survey was developed and piloted prior to being posted to 69 orthopaedic surgeons asking for their opinions about the general management of osteoporosis, and the roles and responsibilities of health professionals in dealing with osteoporosis following a MTF.

Results: Responses were received from 42 participants (60.8 %) with the majority of respondents agreeing that it is important to treat osteoporosis following MTF. Less than 15 % of respondents felt that it was their responsibility to initiate discussion or treatment or investigation after MTF. No respondent felt that the co-ordination of osteoporosis care was good and 45% stated it was poor. Communication after discharge is mostly left to the hospital (30%) while 20% stated they did not follow up at all.

Conclusions: This study shows that many rural orthopaedic surgeons believe that follow-up in regard to osteoporosis after MTF is important, that responsibility for follow-up diagnosis and management of osteoporosis lies with primary health care and the current communication systems are poor.


attitudes, minimal trauma fracture, orthopedic surgeons, osteoporosis, responsibility

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