The Biotechnologist Newsletter

Sign up to receive the latest on science, innovation and the future of medicines.


Views from the Fracture Clinic

Going to the hospital is rarely a pleasant experience. Whether you’re the patient or visiting a loved one, being in a hospital can often be stressful and disheartening. And for someone with osteoporosis, it can be especially scary if you’re there after suffering an osteoporotic fracture.

Osteoporotic fractures, also known as fragility fractures, occur when a person’s bones are thin, porous, and weak (due to osteoporosis), which makes them more susceptible to breaking – even from something as simple as a minor fall from a standing height.

An osteoporotic fracture can have significant consequences, including reduction or loss of mobility and decreased independence, with only 44 percent of patients who are treated for hip fractures ever returning home.

Let’s look at some quick facts:

  • Over 80% of all fractures in people 50+ are caused by osteoporosis.
  • Fractures from osteoporosis are more common than heart attack, stroke and breast cancer combined.
  • Osteoporotic hip fractures consume more hospital bed days than stroke, diabetes, or heart attack.
  • Each hip fracture can cost the healthcare system more than $20,000 in the first year after hospitalization, and more than $44,000 if the patient is institutionalized.

No wonder the views from the fracture clinic below look dismal – hospitalization from osteoporosis can be very costly. Additionally, the risk of a second fracture remains high if not managed appropriately, which may mean another visit to the hospital.

However, you may be able to avoid these emergency measures by talking to your doctor, and asking for a 10-year risk fracture assessment.

After reading this article, are you more likely to speak to your physician about osteoporosis?