As you get older, your risk of breaking a bone can increase – especially if you have osteoporosis. Even something as simple as lifting a heavy grocery bag, bumping your elbow on the car door, or tripping over a curb, can leave you in a cast. What’s even scarier is that your first fracture is unlikely to be your last if you don’t take action.
According to Osteoporosis Canada, over 80 percent of fractures in people 50 years and older are caused by osteoporosis, a condition which makes your bones more brittle. Osteoporosis causes bones to become thin and porous, decreasing bone strength and leading to an increased risk of fracture.
One Fracture Too Many
Fracturing a wrist, spine, shoulder, or hip—the most common sites of osteoporotic fractures—puts you at increased risk for subsequent fractures down the road. Fourteen percent of people with wrist fractures suffer a repeat fracture within just three years, and 50 percent of hip fracture patients will suffer another fracture within five years.
These subsequent fractures can be debilitating, disrupting your ability to do simple things like get around your home, cook, or even dress yourself. And they can be life-threatening: 28 percent of women and 37 percent of men who suffer a hip fracture will die within the following year.
It is possible to take preventative steps to help avoid osteoporotic fractures. Download and complete this checklist to help determine if you might be at risk for osteoporosis, and speak to your doctor.