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4 Most Common Fractures Due to Osteoporosis

Part of the Osteoporosis For Dummies Cheat Sheet

So are you wondering which types of fractures are the most common with osteoporosis? If you experience any of these fractures, ask your doctor to check for osteoporosis. If you already have osteoporosis, be vigilant about preventing bone fractures.

Here's a quick look at common fractures related to from osteoporosis:

  • Hip fractures: Although hip fractures may seem to get the most publicity with osteoporosis, they aren't the most common osteoporotic fracture. Of the 1.5 million osteoporotic fractures each year in the United States, about 300,000 are hip fractures.

  • Vertebral compression fractures: Nearly half, or 700,000, of the annual osteoporotic fractures in the U.S. are of this type. A vertebral compression fracture is an injury to the spine in which one or more vertebrae collapse.

    If the collapse is only in the front part of the spines, it's a compression (or wedge) fracture. If the vertebral body is crushed in all directions, it's called a burst fracture.

  • Wrist fractures: Often called Colles' fractures, wrist fractures account for about 200,000 of the osteoporotic fractures in the U.S.

  • Other fractures: The remainder includes mostly fractures of the ribs, shoulder, and pelvis, although any bone can sustain an osteoporotic fracture.

Although vertebral compression fractures can occur with little or no trauma — a cough or sudden twist of your upper body can cause one — hip and wrist fractures are most often related to falls.

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