How do osteoporotic fractures occur?

Updated: Jan 20, 2021
  • Author: Rachel Elizabeth Whitaker Elam, MD, MSc; Chief Editor: Herbert S Diamond, MD  more...
  • Print
Answer

Osteoporotic fractures represent the clinical significance of these derangements in the bone. They can result both from low-energy trauma, such as falls from a sitting or standing position, and from high-energy trauma, such as a pedestrian struck in a motor vehicle accident. Fragility fractures, which occur secondary to low-energy trauma, are characteristic of osteoporosis. The most common osteoporotic fracture includes femoral neck, pathologic fractures of the vertebrae, lumbar and thoracic vertebral fractures, and distal radius fractures. The least common osteoporotic fracture includes open fractures of the proximal humerus and closed fractures of the skull and facial bones. [30]

Nearly all osteoporotic hip fractures are related to falls. [31] The frequency and direction of falls can influence the likelihood and severity of fractures. The risk of falling may be amplified by neuromuscular impairment due to vitamin D deficiency with secondary hyperparathyroidism or to corticosteroid therapy.


Did this answer your question?
Additional feedback? (Optional)
Thank you for your feedback!