Osteoporosis: assessing the risk of fragility fracture

National Institute for Health and Care Excellence


Osteoporotic fragility fractures can cause substantial pain and severe disability, often leading to a reduced quality of life, while hip and vertebral fractures are also associated with decreased life expectancy. Hip fracture nearly always requires hospitalisation, is fatal in 20% of cases, and permanently disables 50% of those affected; only 30% of patients fully recover.

Direct medical costs from fragility fractures to the UK healthcare economy were estimated at £1.8 billion in 2000, with the potential to increase to £2.2 billion by 2025, with most of these costs relating to hip fracture care.

This Guidelines summary covers targeting risk assessment and includes an algorithm for assessing fragility fracture.


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