Skip to main content

Impact of Spinal Osteoporotic Fractures Revealed on World Osteoporosis Day

  • Synopsis: Published: 2010-10-20 - Devastating impact of spinal osteoporotic fractures revealed on World Osteoporosis Day - International Osteoporosis Foundation.

Main Document

Devastating impact of spinal osteoporotic fractures revealed on World Osteoporosis Day.

A new report issued by the International Osteoporosis Foundation (IOF) for World Osteoporosis Day puts the spotlight on the severe impact of spinal fractures and calls on health professionals to recognize the signs of these fractures in their patients.

"The widespread under-diagnosis and lack of treatment of spinal fractures, leaves millions of people around the world with chronic pain, deformity, disability and at high risk of future fractures," says Professor John Kanis, President of the IOF.

As many as two-thirds of spinal osteoporotic fractures are not recognized by doctors. Untreated, as many as one in five women with a spinal fracture will sustain another within twelve months.

'The Breaking Spine', authored by Professor Harry K. Genant of the University of California and Dr. Mary Bouxsein of Harvard Medical School, reveals the serious impact of these fractures and calls on health professionals to take action to diagnose patients and refer them for treatment. "Doctors must look out for evidence of spinal fractures, especially in their patients over 50 - stooped back, loss of height, and sudden, severe back pain are the three tell-tale signs, says Professor Genant. "It is essential that doctors refer these patients for further testing and that radiology reports clearly identify spinal fractures as 'FRACTURED' to avoid ambiguity." Currently, only about 40% of older women with spinal fractures visible on X-ray are tested for osteoporosis. The figure is even lower in men (less than 20%).

The IOF urges health professionals and the public to recognize the signs of spinal fractures. The repercussions of these common fractures can be severe, resulting in stooped back, acute and chronic back pain, loss of height, immobility, depression, increased number of bed days, reduced pulmonary function and even premature death.

Globally, spinal fractures represent a huge socio-economic burden. It is estimated that one spinal fracture occurs every 22 seconds worldwide. Studies have shown that as many as 20-25% of Caucasian women and men over 50 years of age have a current spinal fracture. Costs associated with all osteoporotic fractures are predicted to rise markedly over the next few decades as the population ages.

The new IOF report, The Breaking Spine, can be downloaded on www.iofbonehealth.org/publications/the-breaking-spine.html

About the International Osteoporosis Foundation - The International Osteoporosis Foundation (IOF) is a non-profit, nongovernmental organization dedicated to the worldwide fight against osteoporosis, the disease known as "the silent epidemic". IOF's members - committees of scientific researchers, patient, medical and research societies and industry representatives from around the world - share a common vision of a world without osteoporotic fractures. IOF now represents 195 societies in 93 locations around the world. www.iofbonehealth.org

Related Information:

  1. Many Spinal Fractures Under-diagnosed and Under-treated
  2. Vertebroplasty for Osteoporotic Spinal Compression Fractures


Information from our Osteoporosis: Causes, Symptoms & Treatment section - (Full List).

Submit event details, disability news, and assistive technology products for publishing on Disabled World


Loan Information for low income singles, families, seniors and disabled. Includes home, vehicle and personal loans.


Famous People with Disabilities - Well known people with disabilities and conditions who contributed to society.


List of awareness ribbon colors and their meaning. Also see our calendar of awareness dates.


Blood Pressure Chart - What should your blood pressure be. Also see information on blood group types and compatibility.



  1. Majority in Favor of Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) Screening
  2. When the Spinal Cord Takes Charge of Information Related to Movement
  3. Sign Language Comparative List of Astronomical Words
  4. Israeli President Honors Special Education Teachers




Citation



Errors: Disabled World is an independent website, your assistance in reporting outdated or inaccurate information is appreciated. If you find an error please let us know.

Disclaimer: Content on Disabled World is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of a physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. See our Terms of Service for more information.