Osteoporosis care gap graphic

Source:  Public Health Agency of Canada.  Report from the Canadian Chronic Disease Surveillance System:  Osteoporosis and related fractures in Canada, 2020. 

Over 80% of all broken bones (fractures) after the age of 50 are caused by osteoporosis. These fractures cause pain and disability, which can be permanent. Some fractures, such as hip and spine, are also associated with an increased risk of dying.

After a first osteoporotic fracture, the risk of a subsequent one is doubled and any new fractures are most likely to occur within the next two years. As the subsequent fractures are so imminent, it is important that appropriate osteoporosis medications be started as soon as possible after that first fracture.

But a recent report from the Public Health Agency of Canada reveals that despite well-established clinical practice guidelines, osteoporosis screening and treatment following a fracture in Canada is the exception rather than the norm.

Fracture Liaison Service (FLS) is the most effective program to prevent repeat fractures due to osteoporosis. In an FLS, a coordinator screens fracture patients for osteoporosis and follows them to make sure they receive the care they need to prevent the next fracture. This care may include a bone mineral density test and/or osteoporosis medication.

Patients seen by an FLS are three times more likely to receive the osteoporosis care they need to help prevent their next fracture! Unfortunately, there are very few FLSs in Canada. More FLSs are badly needed!

Proportion of patients who receive an osteoporosis medication after their fracture graphic

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