What are fragility fractures?
Fragility fractures are those that occur spontaneously or following minimal trauma, defined as falling from a standing height or less. Fractures of the vertebrae, hips, humerus, and distal radius (Colles’ fracture) are the most characteristic fragility fractures, but osteoporosis patients are prone to all types of fractures. Up to 40% of women and 20% of men develop one or more osteoporotic fractures during their lifetime. Osteoporosis accounts for approximately 1.7 million fractures requiring hospitalization in the United States each year. However, relying on hospitalized fractures may underestimate the true prevalence of fragility fractures, since many fractures do not require hospital treatment and approximately two-thirds of all vertebral fractures are not clinically diagnosed.