The primary way to figure out if someone has Osteoporosis is with a DEXA scan, a diagnostic tool that measures bone density. It’s an assessment a doctor needs to decide to order, but the diagnosis and care of a fracture is a winding treatment path, and providers along the journey may not be aware of the fracture or connect it to osteoporosis. First-responders in emergency care are responsible for treating the break rather than the cause, and rarely have the time or resources to flag a need for further investigation. Care Coordinators in hospitals can help to connect a patient’s care, but they can be under-equipped or may not exist. Primary Care doctors may be unaware of a previous fracture, may suggest nutritional changes without educating the patient on their condition, or may fail to investigate the fracture cause because of competing health priorities. Older adults can be hesitant to explore their health for fear of what they may learn or because other health conditions compete for importance in patient and provider minds.
Investigating the cause and connecting dots