When Bone Breaks: Osteoporosis Complications

Osteoporosis bone fractures are responsible for considerable pain, decreased quality of life, lost workdays, and disability. Up to 30% of patients suffering a hip fracture will require long-term nursing home care. Elderly patients can further develop pneumonia and blood clots in the leg veins that can travel to the lungs (pulmonary embolism) due to prolonged bed rest after a hip fracture. Some 20% of hip fracture patients will die in the subsequent year as an indirect result of the fracture. In addition, once a person has experienced a spine fracture due to osteoporosis, he or she is at very high risk of chronic back pain and disability. About 20% of postmenopausal women who experience a vertebral fracture will suffer a new vertebral fracture of bone in the following year.

WebMD Medical Reference Reviewed by David Zelman, MD on September 07, 2019


SOURCES: NIH Osteoporosis and Related Bone Diseases National Resource Center: "Handout on Health: Osteoporosis."  Lindsay, R. JAMA, 2001;285(3):320-323. 

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