About Fragility Fractures

Fragility fractures and osteoporosis – making the connection

Osteoporosis is a condition that weakens bone over time, making them thinner, more brittle and more likely to break.1 As a result, the skeleton becomes fragile, so that even a slight bump or fall can lead to a broken bone ‒ referred to as a fragility fracture.2 Fractures most often occur in the hip, spine, arm, wrist, legs and pelvis.3 Fractures are expensive to treat, and disabling to the lives of those affected.3 Moreover, fractures are associated with heightened risk of death.3

An introduction to bone health

Key facts about secondary fractures

  • Once a patient suffers a fragility fracture his or her risk of a future fracture increases up to 10x4
  • Half of patients presenting with hip fractures have suffered a prior fracture5
  • Despite their risk of future fractures, the majority of fragility fracture patients are neither assessed, nor treated to reduce fracture risk5
  • Treating patients who have already suffered a fracture would result in a significant reduction in health care costs because they are the ones at the highest risk for future fracture5

Am I at risk?

Risk factors for osteoporosis include age, smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, previous broken bones, a family history of osteoporosis and low body weight.8

1International Osteoporosis Foundation. What Is Osteoporosis? 2015. Available at: http://www.iofbonehealth.org/what-is-osteoporosis (Last accessed Sep 2017).2International Osteoporosis Foundation. Capture the Fracture: A Global Campaign to Break the Fragility Fracture Cycle. 2012. Available at: https://www.iofbonehealth.org/capture-fracture (Last accessed Sep 2017). 3International Osteoporosis Foundation. Gaps and Solutions in Bone Health: A Global Framework for Improvement. Available at: http://share.iofbonehealth.org/WOD/2016/thematic-report/WOD16-report-WEB-EN.pdf (Last accessed Sep 2017). 4Lyet JP. Fragility Fractures in the Osteoporotic Patient: Special Challenges. JLGH 2006;1(3):91-95. 5International Osteoporosis Foundation. What We Do. Available from: https://www.iofbonehealth.org/capture-fracture (Last accessed Sep 2017). 6International Osteoporosis Foundation. Facts and Statistics. Available at: https://www.iofbonehealth.org/facts-statistics#category-25 (Last accessed Sep 2017). 7International Osteoporosis Foundation. The Asia-Pacific Regional Audit: Epidemiology, costs and burden of osteoporosis. 2013. 8International Osteoporosis Foundation. Who’s at Risk? 2015. Available at: http://www.iofbonehealth.org/whos-risk (Last accessed Sep 2017).

For further information, please talk to your healthcare professional.