Key Points for Consequences

  • Most fractures (broken bones) that occur in adulthood with minimal trauma, such as a fall from standing height, are commonly a consequence of osteoporosis.

  • A spine fracture can occur spontaneously without trauma in an individual with osteoporosis. It may result from routine movement and there may be no precipitating event.

  • A spine fracture is the most common bone to break as a result of osteoporosis.

  • Having a spine fracture increases the risk of future fractures.

  • Multiple spine fractures can change a person’s appearance by causing loss of height, a curving of the shoulders and back, and a thickening waistline.

  • Most hip fractures are associated with osteoporosis. Hip fractures most often occur in older adults and the risk for hip fracture dramatically increases with advanced age.

  • Hip fractures can greatly impact an individual’s quality of life. Almost all people who have hip fractures require surgery to repair the broken bone. A hip fracture may cause temporary disability, permanent disability, or even death.

  • A wrist fracture is a common type of fracture that often occurs in women around the time of menopause.

  • Broken bones that occur after the age of 50 should discussed with your healthcare provider to determine if you are at risk for osteoporosis. A bone mineral density (BMD) test may be prescribed to assess your bone health.