The aim of the present study was to survey the interest of Japanese orthopedists in preventing fractures in the elderly, and investigate their awareness with regard to main prevention strategies such as medications and hip protectors. From the list of 20,899 members of the Japanese Orthopedic Association, we randomly selected a sample of 2035 people. Each orthopedist was sent an anonymous survey consisting of 12 questions during July to August 2001. At that time, risedronate, raloxifene, and parathyroid hormone had not been approved for clinical use in Japan, and even alendronate had just been approved. Of the survey forms sent, 1011 responses were received, for a response rate of 50%. Analysis of these responses showed a very high interest in osteoporosis, fractures in the elderly from falls, and the prevention of such fractures. This interest was associated with physician age, with those above the age of 50 years being 2.3 times more likely to have an interest in each of these than physicians below that age. The respondents considered the most promising measure for the prevention of fractures in the elderly from falls to be fall prevention, followed by exercise and osteoporosis medications. The medication considered to be effective as a monotherapy by the overwhelming number of respondents was bisphosphonates, followed by vitamin D3 and calcitonin. Combination agents cited were vitamin D3, bisphosphonates, and calcitonin, in that order. Forty-two percent of respondents had some knowledge of hip protectors, but confidence in them as a means to prevent fractures was still low. The practical information from our survey should serve as a starting point for comparison to periods when new bisphosphonates or hip protectors become commonly available to Japanese orthopedists. The overall results indicate that Japanese orthopedists are very positive toward fracture prevention.
Fall Fracture Hip protector Medication Osteoporosis Survey