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An Osteoporotic Fragility Fracture Every 3 Seconds, Worldwide Department of Orthopaedics and Traumatology, HKUMed in collaboration with The Hong Kong Medical Association and St. John’s Ambulance, Organising Free Online Lectures to Bust Orthopaedic Myths

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HONG KONG SAR – Media OutReach – 7 June 2021 – Osteoporosis is a common disease with no obvious clinical symptoms in the early stage, while it can eventually cause serious health problems. It is estimated that an osteoporotic fragility fracture occurs every three seconds around the world. To increase the public awareness of musculoskeletal problems and to bust the myths of orthopaedics issues, the Department of Orthopaedics and Traumatology, LKS Faculty of Medicine, The University of Hong Kong (HKUMed) joins forces with the Hong Kong Medical Association and St. John’s Ambulance in June to organize free online lectures – “HKU Bone and Muscle Health Series”, whereby orthopaedic surgeons are invited to share with the public on orthopaedics health topics such as osteoporosis.

According to statistics, there are 300,000 menopausal women and 100,000 men aged 50 years or above in Hong Kong who are suffering from osteoporosis. Osteoporosis reduces patients’ bone density, causing fragility of the bone structure, which can easily lead to fractures, as well as partial loss of mobility and self-care ability. This would result in reducing the quality of life and even causing various complications. The hip bone, spine, and distal radius (wrist bone) are the most commonly found fragile fractures.

Elderly is not deemed to have fragile bones, Regular check-ups can reduce the risks

The organizer believes there is a lack of awareness on osteoporosis among the general public and the myths are remained unsolved. For example, the public mistakenly believe that osteoporosis and fragile fractures are the inevitable consequences of aging. In fact, osteoporosis is curable while fractures are preventable. High-risk groups, including menopausal women and the elderly, can do regular osteoporosis risk assessments to reduce the risks of fragile fractures. When the patient’s bone density reaches the level of thinning or looseness, and such loss caused by other pathologies has been ruled out, the doctor will consider prescribing osteoporosis drugs to slow down the patient’s rate of bone loss in order to prevent fragile fractures.

Adequate intake of calcium and vitamin D helps prevent osteoporosis

In addition to medical treatment, a balanced diet and lifestyle can also help prevent osteoporosis, especially for those young people and low-risk groups. The daily recommended intake are 1,000 to 1,200 mg of calcium and 800 to 1,000 international units of vitamin D. Calcium can slow down bone loss and reduce the risk of osteoporosis. Vitamin D plays a vital role in helping the body absorb calcium and other minerals which are useful to bone-building.

To eliminate the misunderstanding, the public should pay extra attention to the health of bones and arthrosis

To further enhance the public’s awareness of musculoskeletal problems, the Department of Orthopaedics and Traumatology, HKUMed will collaborate with the Hong Kong Medical Association and St. John’s Ambulance, to jointly organize the “HKU Bone and Muscle Health Series”. Two free public lectures will be held on 18 and 25 June, orthopaedic surgeons are invited to share health knowledge relating to osteoporosis and orthopaedics myths with the public online. The organizer hopes that the public will pay extra attention to bone and arthrosis health and start preventing those problems at an early stage.

Aside from the free online lectures for public, medical lectures will also be organized for doctors and healthcare professionals, to provide the latest treatment information on orthopaedic diseases as well as to further improve the medical and healthcare standards in Hong Kong.

“HKU Bone and Muscle Health Series” free online public lectures information (in Cantonese):

Date/time

Topic

Speaker

18 June 2021 (Friday)

2 – 3 p.m.

Elderly is Deemed to have Fragile Bones? Osteoporosis and Fragile Fractures

Dr. PUN, Cheuk Ting, Terence (潘卓庭醫生)

25 June 2021 (Friday)

2 – 3 p.m.

Common Orthopaedics Myths and Misunderstandings

Dr. CHAN, Wai Kwan, Vincent (陳偉鈞醫生)

You can log on to the following link or scan the QR code to register for the free online lectures of “HKU Bone and Muscle Health Series” (in Cantonese): https://bit.ly/3x71Umz

For details of the lectures, please visit https://ortho60.hku.hk/boneandmusclehealth/

Case sharing

Bone fractures are preventable if appropriate treatment is given in time – The case of Madam Wong

Madam Wong is a 70 year-old granny with pretty good body functions and habits of doing regular exercises and jogging. Unfortunately, Ms. Wong slipped and fell on the ground half a year ago and was landed on her wrist. She was diagnosed with a fractured wrist bone after taking X-rays and visiting a traditional Chinese bonesetter, and had a plaster cast for two months. She did not consult any medical doctor at that time, nor did she undergo an osteoporosis test. Two months later, she fell on the ground again and resulted in back pain. After seeking treatment, she was diagnosed with a compression fracture of the lumbar spine. Severe low back pain caused Madam Wong to only make slow movements close to her neighbourhood and lost the ability to do any exercise.

In the middle of one night, Madam Wong got up to answer the call of nature. However, she slipped and fell in the washroom accidentally, resulting in her right leg completely unmovable. She was eventually diagnosed with hip fracture when she was taken to the hospital. Although the operation was performed in time, her mobility is not as good as before. She needs to sit in a wheelchair most of the time, and her range of mobility has been confined to staying at home. Since her family members could not take care of her, and she was eventually sent to a nursing home. The doctor explained that if she had received appropriate osteoporosis treatment timely after the first fracture, the subsequent fractures could have been prevented.

Department of Orthopaedics and Traumatology, LKS Faculty of Medicine, The University of Hong Kong (HKUMed):

Established in 1961, the Department of Orthopaedics and Traumatology (previously the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery), HKUMed strives to provide first-class services to the community through patient care. Apart from that, the Department develops high-quality research programs and provides teaching and training to medical students and doctors. The Department also proactively organizes various professional medical and public events to deliver orthopaedic knowledge to the general public.

#HKUMed

The Hong Kong Medical Association:

The Hong Kong Medical Association, founded in 1920, a hundred years ago, brings together all medical practitioners in, and serving the people of, Hong Kong. Its objective is to promote the welfare of the medical profession and the health of the public. With the current membership of over 12,000 from all sectors of medical practice, it speaks collectively for its members and aims to keep its members abreast of medical ethics and issues around the world. The Association takes pride in displaying in its emblem its motto in Chinese which translates into “to safeguard the health of the people” to pronounce the sacred duty of a medical practitioner to look after his/her patients.

Hong Kong St. John Ambulance Brigade:

Hong Kong St. John Ambulance is a charitable organization with a long history stretching back over a century and has been serving the community since 1884, under the name of St. John Association to provide first aid training to the general public. Followed by the formation of St. John Brigade in 1916, a group of trained students to form the service arm of the organization, providing first aid and emergency ambulance services to the general public. The Council was set up in 1949. Adhered to its motto, “For the Service of Mankind”, the organization is dedicated to provide First Aid and ambulance services in emergency, dental care for those patients in needs, and courses of instructions on First Aid and Home Nursing for the general public.

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