THE EARLIER THE DIAGNOSIS THE BETTER

Broken bones caused by osteoporosis need to be diagnosed and treated as soon as possible. 80% of patients with a late diagnosis wish they had received it earlier.1

After a hip fracture, your risk of a second hip fracture is 5 times higher within the first year.2 And the risk of breaking another bone is also high for other types of broken bones.3

Your doctor will be able to recommend the most appropriate and effective treatment to reduce your risk of further fractures.4

WHAT MIGHT MY DOCTOR ASK ME?

Osteoporosis is diagnosed by reviewing your medical history and may involve some specific tests that look at your bone strength.

Your doctor will firstly talk to you about:4

  • Lifestyle – a doctor will ask about your diet, calcium and vitamin D intake, your exercise habits and if you smoke or drink alcohol.
  • Family history – let your doctor know if you have parents, siblings or other family members who have experienced fractures in the past.
  • Medical history – certain conditions can impact your bone strength, and your doctor will want to check what medications you are currently taking.

YOU MAY NEED A BONE SCAN TO IDENTIFY OSTEOPOROSIS

If you are at risk, enquire your doctor about a simple bone scan, which measures the bone density in your spine and hip. This test is called a DEXA (dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry).

A DEXA scan is:5

  • Painless, non-invasive and you remain clothed during the procedure.
  • Very safe. It emits a much lower level of radiation than a standard x-ray
  • Takes 10 to 20 minutes to complete.
  • The result of the test is called T-score, which helps to diagnose osteoporosis and guides your treatment plan.

THERE'S HOPE – BROKEN BONES CAN BE PREVENTED

OSTEOPOROSIS TREATMENTS HELP STRENGTHEN YOUR BONES AND REDUCE THE RISK OF FRACTURES4,6

  • Your doctor may select a treatment option, which could include a prescription medicine to help strengthen your bones. They do this by looking at your own risk profile, which includes your risk of certain types of fractures, any medical conditions you have and other medicines you currently take.4,6
  • Osteoporosis medicines have been shown to reduce the risk of different fracture types including spine, hip, leg and wrist fractures by 15–70% depending on the type of fracture.7,8
  • There are different types of osteoporosis medicines, they can be tablets or injections. Depending on the type you are prescribed they can be, and need to be taken or administered every day, once a week, once a month or once or twice a year.6
  • Your doctor might also recommend that you take calcium and vitamin D supplements, as this can help to make your osteoporosis medicine more effective.

Stay on your osteoporosis medicine.

It is important to remember that osteoporosis is a chronic condition; your medication may need to be taken for many years.9 Take your medication as directed by your doctor.

References

1 Amgen and International Osteoporosis Foundation. Fight the fracture IOF survey. 2017. www.iofbonehealth.org

2 Lee SH, et al. Acta Orthop Traumatol Turc 2016;50:437–42.

3 Balasubramanian A, et al. Osteoporos Int 2019;30:79–92.

4 International Osteoporosis Foundation. Love your bones: Protect your future. 2016. www.iofbonehealth.org

5 NHS. Bone density scan (DEXA scan). 2019. www.nhs.uk

6 Osteoporosis Australia. What you need to know about Osteoporosis. Consumer guide. 2017. www.osteoporosis.org.au

7 Kanis JA, et al. Osteoporos Int 2013;24:23–57.

8 Black DM, et al. N Engl J Med 2007;356:1809–22.

9 International Osteoporosis Foundation. Staying power: Closing the adherence gap in osteoporosis. 2006. www.iofbonehealth.org

10 Lyet J. The Journal of Lancaster General Hospital 2006;1.

11 Johansson H, et al. Osteoporos Int 2017;28:775–80.