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Fracture prevention clinic provides balance

Michelle McAlpin and Dr. Adam Kaufman at Mission Fracture Prevention Clinic. (Photo credit: WLOS Staff)

Studies show 10 percent of people in America who break a hip die without leaving the hospital. Mission Health wants to reduce that number through a program to prevent falls in the first place.

Michelle McAlpin wasn't doing well four months ago when she fell in Guatemala and flew back to Asheville for hip replacement surgery.

An X-ray shows the hairline fracture although it's not very easy to see. What is more conspicuous is the replacement after surgery.

"Now, things are much better, but probably slower because it all started with a fall," McAlpin added.

To reduce chances of another fall, Michelle became a patient at the Mission Fracture Prevention Clinic.

"The fracture prevention clinic is a multidisciplinary clinic where we bring in a physical therapist to do fall-prevention therapy," explained Dr. Adam Kaufman, an orthopedic surgeon.

Now, Michelle frequently uses hiking poles -- like she did on a trip to Spain -- to improve balance.

"I don't want to fall again, and if I do, I don't want to break anything," she insisted.

"The hallmarks of fall prevention and prevention of fragility fractures is supplementation," Kaufman emphasized. "They (patients) are on appropriate calcium, Vitamin D, and nutritional supplementation if needed."

Michelle is also on prescription injections to improve bone health and is well on her way to traveling the world again.

The Mission Fracture Prevention Clinic is located at 1 Hospital Drive, Suite #4200, Asheville, N.C., 28801. The telephone number is 828-213-1994.

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