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McMaster Faculty of Health Sciences Newsmagazine — Volume 6, Issue 1, Spring 2012

Joy MacDermid, Leona Aglukkaq and patient Sue Baptiste who had a prolonged recovery following a hand fracture

Research award pushes ahead bone health research

Federal Minister of Health Leona Aglukkaq visited the McMaster campus to announce three national awards for research to improve Canadians' bone health, including an award of $2.5 million for investigations by a McMaster University rehabilitation science professor.

Joy MacDermid, a professor and assistant dean of McMaster's School of Rehabilitation Science, along with researchers at the University of Toronto and Simon Fraser University, received a total of $7 million from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.

"Our government is committed to helping Canadians lead healthy, active lifestyles," Aglukkaq said. "I am pleased that we are supporting research to help people maintain strong bones, providing the foundation for healthy lives."

MacDermid's research team is using the funds to examine the extent to which a bone must be displaced before it requires surgery, conduct studies on how to best screen for fracture risks and how to use these screening methods in everyday practice.

Broken wrists are quite a common injury, MacDermid said, adding that it's a mistake not to take the injury seriously as some people end up with chronic pain or arthritis.

"We do not want to use costly investigations or treatment when they are not needed; nor do we want to miss potential problems like chronic pain, arthritis or osteoporosis that is best managed in the early stages, when treatment is easiest and most effective."