Osteoporosis is a common chronic disease. One in 2 women and 1 in 5 men over the age of 50 will experience an osteoporotic fragility fracture in their lifetime, and with ageing demographics, fragility fractures are expected to rise by 25% over the next 5 years. Fractures of the spine, ‘vertebral fragility fracture-VFF’ are the most common osteoporotic fracture. These constitute a major health problem, leading to both acute and chronic back pain, substantial spinal deformity, functional disability, decreased quality of life and increased mortality. The risk of one VFF increases the risk of a new VFF five-fold, and up to twelve-fold in the presence of two or more VFF. These fractures frequently occur with very little trauma from day-to-day activities, such as bending forward, twisting, lifting light objects, and even sitting from a standing position onto a low chair.

Many patients who sustain a VFF have mild to moderate symptoms, however a significant proportion develop substantial pain and disability and require admission to hospital. Optimising care involves addressing the acute pain symptoms, rehabilitation and osteoporosis secondary prevention.

Step by step management can be found on the webinar that was hosted by Fragility Fracture Network Canada on the “Management of Vertebral Fracture in hospital patients”.

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