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What are fragility fractures, and how do you prevent them?

Fragility fractures may be caused by low-energy trauma or trauma equivalent to a fall from a standing line, or maybe less. Fragility fractures are a sign of hidden osteoporosis. There is a high risk of another fracture, especially in the first two years after a person suffers from a fragility fracture.


Fragility fracture may occur when the force applied to the bone exceeds its load-bearing ability during trauma. Load-bearing ability is accepted by bone mineral density, microstructure, bone geometry, and quality. It significantly impacts a person’s quality of life as it causes disability and substantial pain and increases the risk of mortality and morbidity.


Osteoporosis is a primary risk factor for this fracture. However, other causes include:

  • Predisposition to fall due to poor muscle strength or loss of balance.
  • Advancing age
  • Due to minor trauma or minor falls.
  • Bending, sneezing, or lifting.
  • Other issues influence bone straightening, such as osteogenesis imperfecta or acromegaly.

Symptoms Associated with Fragility Fracture

Fragility fractures are common in body parts like the wrist, arm, hip, ribs, pelvis, shoulder, and vertebrae. It also influences the person’s life as it can cause depression, loss of confidence, anxiety, and reduced quality of life. However, a person may also experience the following issues with fragility fracture.


  • Loss of height
  • Morbidity due to high doses of analgesia
  • Pain
  • Loss of mobility
  • Sleeping issues
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Gastrointestinal symptoms
  • Symptoms of depression.


How to Prevent Fragility Fractures?

Fragility fracture management needs multidisciplinary care and collaboration. After the injury, a patient must be prepared for a surgical intervention to get through the issue quickly. Acute injury treatment requires orthopedic intervention, but older adults may need additional medical care as an inpatient during and after the fracture surgery, occupational therapy, and physiotherapy. After managing the fragility fracture, one should plan to prevent future injuries.


One should adopt a multi-component exercise program after a fragility fracture to prevent future injuries. It would be best to regularly do prescribed exercise programs which consist of mobility training, challenging balance, progressive resistance training, weight-bearing exercise, posture exercise, functional exercises, and safe movement and lifting strategies. It would help if one encouraged daily moderate to high-impact load-bearing exercise according to one’s capability. Moreover, combining all these exercises with optional nutrition such as dietary protein, adequate calcium, and vitamin D helps to make the bone more robust and prevent future fragility fractures.



Almost one in four men and one in two women suffer from fragility fractures, which may also cause other fractures in the future as the bone weakens and has reduced load-bearing capacity. However, following preventive measures during and after the treatment helps to make bones stronger, makes them appropriate for load-bearing, and reduces the risk of future injuries.