The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly of Osteoporosis Fractures

Osteoporosis-related fractures certainly aren’t the sexiest topic. Who likes reading about painful injuries and endless statistics about incidence, cost, and disability?

*Crickets*

Come on! Every once in a while, even fractures deserve the spotlight so that we can stay motivated to take the necessary steps to prevent them. Let’s jump right into the good, the bad, and the ugly of osteoporosis fractures. No unnecessary fluff, just the information that you need to know.

(Of course, if you like fluff, you can read more here: OSTEOPOROSIS FRACTURES)

The Good
  • Fortunately, having osteoporosis is not a death sentence and it does not necessarily mean that you are a walking fracture waiting to happen. Many people with low bone density will never break a bone during their lifetime.
  • Just because you have family members with the disease who have broken bones does not mean that you are destined to develop the disease as well.
  • Some osteoporosis-related fractures and relatively minor and can be treated without surgery.
  • Most importantly, there are steps you can take to improve your bone health and decrease your risk of breaking bones! Read more here to IMPROVE YOUR BONE HEALTH.
The Bad
  • While some people with osteoporosis may never break a bone, many others are not so lucky. Osteoporosis causes nearly 9 million fractures each year worldwide.
  • The cost of all of these fractures is a tremendous burden on families and society. The yearly cost is estimated at over 22 billion dollars!
  • Osteoporosis does not discriminate against any age, gender, race, or ethnicity. We are all at risk. However, postmenopausal women and men over the age of 50 have the greatest risk.
  • Fractures are painful injuries that can take several months to heal. Complications are possible at every step of the recovery process, and a complete return to normal function is not guaranteed.
The Ugly
  • Hip fractures are the most serious of all osteoporosis related fractures. In the year following a hip fracture, 20-24% of people will die, and at least another 20% will lose their independence and require permanent placement in a nursing home.
  • The number of osteoporosis-related fractures is only increasing. By the year 2050, the worldwide rate of men and women breaking their hip bone is projected to increase by 240% to 310%.
  • The rate of osteoporosis screenings is abysmal, even in those who are at very high risk for the disease. It is estimated that at least 80% of those with a fragility fracture will not be offered osteoporosis screening or treatment.
  • Your risk of breaking a second bone increases 86% in the year following a fracture, making early detection and treatment vital for your bone health.

To put it simply, fractures are bad injuries. They can lead to pain, disability, loss of independence, and even death. There are far more interesting topics to read about, but take a moment to consider what changes you can make in your life to reduce your risk of breaking bones today!

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