Walking crutch Christmas tree raises awareness of osteoporosis

11 Dec 2017

Portsmouth hospital staff have brought Christmas cheer to their fracture clinic, which identifies people at risk of osteoporosis, with a special broken bone-themed Christmas tree.

The amazing ‘Walking Crutch’ tree – made from over 30 recycled walking crutches and toy dolls wearing plaster casts – was created by staff from the Fracture and Orthopaedic Clinic at the Queen Alexandra Hospital in a move to raise awareness of osteoporosis and the work of the National Osteoporosis Society.

Walking Crutch Christmas tree

The amazing ‘Walking Crutch’ tree is made from over 30 recycled walking crutches.

The National Osteoporosis Society has worked extensively with the Hospital in the past, helping to establish their Fracture Liaison Service – a service which systematically identifies people at risk of osteoporosis and starts them on a treatment pathway, to try to stop them from breaking bones in the future.

Sister Lisa Hamilton, Fracture Liaison Clinical Nurse Specialist at the Queen Alexandra Hospital Fracture and Orthopaedic Clinic, said: “With support from the National Osteoporosis Society over the past four and a half years, we have successfully established our Fracture Liaison Service and used their Stop At One campaign to highlight awareness about the risks of osteoporosis-related fractures.”

“We know that one in two women and one in five men over the age of 50 are at risk of an osteoporosis-related fracture. Though being diagnosed with osteoporosis can be alarming, identifying people who may be at risk and implementing the appropriate treatment at the right time provides an important opportunity to prevent more fractures in the future. The Walking Crutch Christmas tree will further help to raise awareness of these osteoporosis-related fractures.”

Barbie with arm in plaster cast

The Walking Crutch Christmas tree is decorated with toy dolls wearing plaster casts.

The Christmas tree was designed and built in collaboration with Remap - a local charity who custom-make equipment to help disabled people live more independent lives. The festive decorations not only spread an important awareness-raising message, but also provide a novel way of recycling the walking crutches, which are suitable for single-use only and usually sent for scrap metal.

Colin Beevor, Matron and Service Manager at the Fracture and Orthopaedic Clinic, praised the work of the two charities: “We are very excited to unveil our Walking Crutch Christmas tree to promote the work of two great charities – Remap and the National Osteoporosis Society. Recycling the crutches like this has been such a fun way to decorate the clinic during the weeks leading up to Christmas.”

The Fracture Clinic team with the Walking Crutch Christmas tree

Colin Beevor unveils the Walking Crutch Christmas tree.

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