The new report outlines the challenges involved in identifying vertebral fractures in primary and secondary care

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The Royal Osteoporosis Society has published State of the nation report: vertebral fracture identification in 2021. The report details the challenges involved in identifying vertebral fractures in primary and secondary care.

Vertebral fractures are the most common type of broken bone caused by osteoporosis. They most commonly occur in the thoracolumbar region of the spine, and can be asymptomatic or present with the generic symptom of back pain and loss of height. As a result, they are often dismissed as an inevitable part of ageing.

Vertebral fractures are treatable and preventable: by identifying them early and introducing effective management and secondary fracture prevention strategies, further fractures can be prevented. This benefits both people living with osteoporosis and the NHS.

The new report includes general information on vertebral fractures, guidance on the importance of radiology departments and fracture liaison services in reporting cases, and a call to action for identifying vertebral fractures in 2021.