South Scotland

NHS Borders hails drop in hip fracture numbers

Walking sticks
Image caption NHS Borders said picking up "simple" fractures could help avoid more serious hip problems

NHS Borders says the number of hip fractures in the region has dropped steadily thanks to a "highly effective" liaison and osteoporosis service.

The annual figure stood at more than 200 just a few years ago but decreased to 164 in 2013.

The health board said it looked to pick up on patients suffering a first "simple" fracture such as to the wrist.

By offering them a DEXA (bone density) scan it said it was able to identify potential problems and offer treatment.

A statement said: "The osteoporosis team at NHS Borders has been working on a fracture prevention programme for several years, and we are now seeing significant reductions in the number of hip and other fractures as a result.

"Once patients are identified as being 'at risk', we have a wide range of effective treatments available to us, depending on individual patient needs.

"Most are taken as tablets at home, but more specialised treatments are available at outpatient clinics in Borders General Hospital and the five Borders community hospitals."

The service is operated from within the radiology department at the BGH.

The health board said that put it in the "best possible position" to pick up fractures and offer DEXA scans and treatment for osteoporosis where necessary.

Dr Andrew Pearson, osteoporosis lead clinician at NHS Borders said: "I am absolutely delighted that the hard work and persistence of all those who have contributed to the service has paid off by reducing the number of hip fractures in the Borders for three successive years, at a time when numbers are increasing in many other health board areas."

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