Staff at Queen Alexandra Hospital’s fracture clinic have used the walking aids to make a Christmas tree, complete with decorations.
The clinic, at the Cosham site, identifies people at risk of bone disease osteoporosis and decided to use the tree as a way to raise awareness of the condition as well as the work of the National Osteoporosis Society.
The tree has been decorated with toy dolls wearing plaster casts and was built in partnership with Remap – a charity which custom-makes equipment to help disabled people live more independent lives.
Colin Beevor, matron and service manager at the Fracture and Orthopaedic Clinic, said: ‘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 National Osteoporosis Society has worked extensively with QA hospital in the past, helping to establish their fracture liaison service.
The service 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 QA, said: ‘With support from the National Osteoporosis Society over the past four years, we have successfully established our fracture liaison service.
‘We have 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.’