Complementary and alternative medicine use in patients with fractures.
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Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) encompasses dietary supplements, herbs, homeopathic medicines, and other modalities. In light of prevalent CAM use, patient interest, increasing CAM expenditures, and possible interactions with traditional treatments or healing we identified the following in patients with fractures: prevalence of CAM use, the amount of money patients are spending on CAMs, and the number of patients who disclose CAM use to their orthopaedic surgeon and the reasons for withholding disclosure. Factors associated with CAM use were evaluated. Of the 322 patients with fractures surveyed, 35% were using CAMs. Of the patients using CAMs, 50% spent more than $25 per month. Fifty-five percent of the patients using CAMs had not discussed their CAM use with their orthopaedic surgeon citing "it was not an important issue to discuss." Factors associated with CAM use included level of education (odds ratio, 2.5; 95% confidence interval, 1.4-4.7) and psychiatric disorders (odds ratio, 2.5; 95% confidence interval, 1.3-5.0). To avoid possible interactions with traditional treatments and to identify side effects, surgeons should ask patients with fractures about CAM use in an unbiased fashion, as most patients will not voluntarily disclose their use.
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