How to maintain good bone health as you age and prevent bone fractures
Methodist and Regions hospitals recognized for early osteoporosis care
Bones play an important role in our bodies. And as we age, protecting and maintaining our bone health is essential.
At TRIA, I help patients improve their bone health after they’ve broken their wrist, hip, spine or pelvis. All of the patients I see are at least 50, but more and more it’s the patients in their 60s and 70s who have broken these bones from a simple fall. That’s why I also work with patients on strategies they can use to avoid falls. My philosophy is no person is “too old” to be treated.
Each year, up to half of all women and a quarter of all men over age 50 will break a bone from falling. And even just one broken bone makes them much more likely to experience another. Alarming statistics also show that breaking a second bone can be deadly. So it’s my goal to help my patients successfully prevent any and all future fractures.
When someone falls from standing height or less and breaks a bone, it’s known as a fragility fracture. These fractures are common complications of osteoporosis. And when they happen, it’s often the first sign that a person has the disease.
How to protect your bones
Here are some tips I share with my patients:
- Get enough calcium and Vitamin D. Both vitamins are essential to building strong, dense bones when you are young and keeping them strong and healthy as you age.
- Eat a well-balanced diet including foods that are good for bone health.
- Exercise regularly.
- Avoid smoking.
- Limit alcohol to two drinks or fewer per day.
- Take steps to prevent falls and work on maintaining balance.
Own the Bone
Methodist Hospital and Regions Hospital are using The American Orthopaedic Association’s Own the Bone® program to help older patients get the care they deserve. This program shows hospitals and clinics how to provide the most complete care possible when it comes to fragility fractures. And we’re proud to say that both Regions and Methodist have been recognized as 2018 Star Performers in the program. This recognition is given to health care institutions that achieve at least 5 of Own the Bone’s 10 prevention measures for 75 percent of their patients or more.
About Kate Erickson, PA-C
Kate Erickson is a physician assistant at TRIA in Bloomington, and is part of the Own the Bone program. In this role she partners with patients on improving their bone health and preventing further fractures. She has worked for many years in orthopedic spine surgery, which has allowed her to treat patients of all ages with back and neck problems. Outside of work, Kate enjoys yoga, biking and trying out various restaurants throughout the Twin Cities. She and her husband also have two children who keep them on their toes.