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Osteoporosis and fragility fractures


A broken bone caused by osteoporosis - called a fragility fracture - occurs every 3 seconds1

A fragility fracture is defined as a fracture resulting from minimal trauma, such as a fall from a standing position2,3

A fragility fracture can be life-altering, may lead to chronic pain, permanent disability or shorter life expectancy1,4

A fragility fracture is commonly the first signal that your bone strength is weakened, which can lead to long-term issues and/or future fractures4

Healthy bone
Osteoporotic bone

While fragility fractures relating to osteoporosis
occur most frequently in the:


Fractures are also common in the:

Lower Leg
Upper Arm

If you have suffered a fragility fracture, you are now at a higher risk of a future fracture. This risk should be evaluated by your doctor who may conduct a fracture risk assessment. This involves enquiring about several risk factors known to affect bone strength such as age, sex, history of previous fractures, and a measurement of bone mineral density (BMD)

The most common way a doctor can predict future fractures is to assess your bone strength with a scan. A DXA scan measures your BMD which helps to determine your risk of fracture

Fractures can lead to long-term issues impacting your independence, chronic back pain and an abnormally curved spine called kyphosis (a curved back associated with height loss due to fractures in the spine), as well as other complications

For further information about fragility fractures and osteoporosis,

Consult your doctor to discuss how they can help
you avoid or reduce the risk of another fragility fracture

If you, or someone you know, has suffered a fracture, you may wish to raise the awareness about osteoporosis. You can help make osteoporosis and fracture prevention a global health priority by signing the IOF patient charter

For more information on fragility fractures, please contact UCBCares® via: +44 (0) 1753 777 100

View References

  1. International Osteoporosis Foundation. Facts and Statistics. Available at: Published 2015. Accessed 5 September, 2017.
  2. Prentice A, Schoenmakers I, Laskey MA, et al. Nutrition and bone growth and development. Proc Nutr Soc 2006; 65:348-360.
  3. Boonen S, Singer AJ, Osteoporosis management: impact of fracture type on cost and quality of life in patients at risk for fracture I. Curr Med Res Opin. 2008; 24:1781-1788.
  4. Cosman F, de Beur SJ, LeBoff MS, et al. Clinican's Guide to Prevention and Treatment of Osteoporosis. Osteoporos Inc. 2014; 25:2359-81.