Celiac disease (CD), also known as gluten-sensitive enteropathy, is an inherited autoimmune disease that can lead to multisystem effects. Left undiagnosed and untreated, it has severe orthopaedic implications involving osteoporosis and unnecessary treatment of joint pain, which could be avoided. The orthopaedic nurse may have thought that CD was primarily an abdominal disorder. We need to be aware of the potential practice implications in orthopaedics by understanding the disease, its diagnosis, and treatment. Furthermore, orthopaedic nurses can contribute to current research by studying the relationships between CD and orthopaedic problems.
Zita J. Hans, MS, RN, ONC, Staff Nurse, Yankton Bone Joint & Sports Medicine Center, Yankton, SD