Original Article

Osteoporosis International

, Volume 23, Issue 6, pp 1757-1768

First online:

Direct medical costs attributable to peripheral fractures in Canadian post-menopausal women

  • L. BessetteAffiliated withDepartment of Medicine, CHUL Research Centre, Laval University Email author 
  • , S. JeanAffiliated withInstitut national de santé publique du Québec
  • , M.-P. Lapointe-GarantAffiliated withDepartment of Medicine, CHUL Research Centre, Laval University
  • , E. L. BelzileAffiliated withDepartment of Medicine, CHUL Research Centre, Laval University
  • , K. S. DavisonAffiliated withCentre hospitalier universitaire de Québec (CHUQ) Research Centre, Centre hospitalier de l’Université Laval (CHUL)
  • , L. G. Ste-MarieAffiliated withUniversity of Montreal
  • , J. P. BrownAffiliated withDepartment of Medicine, CHUL Research Centre, Laval University

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This study determined the cost of treating fractures at osteoporotic sites (except spine fractures) for the year following fracture. While the average cost of treating a hip fracture was the highest of all fractures ($46,664 CAD per fracture), treating other fractures also accounted for significant expenditures ($5,253 to $10,410 CAD per fracture).


This study aims to determine the mean direct medical cost of treating fractures at peripheral osteoporotic sites in the year post-fracture (through 2 years post-hip fracture).


Health administrative databases from the province of Quebec, Canada were used to estimate the cost of treating peripheral fractures at osteoporotic sites for the year following fracture (through 2 years for hip fractures). Included in costs analyses were physician claims, emergency and outpatient clinic costs, hospitalization costs, and subsequent costs for treatment of complications.


A total of 15,827 patients (mean age 72 years) who suffered one fracture at an osteoporotic site had data for analyses. Hip/femur fractures had the highest rate of hospital stays related to fracture (91%) and the highest rate of hospital stays associated with a post-fracture complication (8%). In the year following fracture, the mean (SD) costs (2009 Canadian dollars) of treating acute fractures and post-fracture complications were: hip/femur fracture $46,664 ($43,198), wrist fracture $5,253 ($18,982), and fractures at other peripheral sites $10,410 ($27,641). The average (SD) cost of treating post-fracture complications at the hip/femur in the second year post-fracture was $1,698 ($12,462). Hospitalizations associated with the fracture accounted for 88% of the total cost of fracture treatment.


The treatment of hip fractures accounts for a significant proportion of the costs associated with the treatment of peripheral osteoporotic fractures. Interventions to reduce the incidence of fractures, particularly hip fractures, would result in significant cost savings to the health care system and would preserve quality of life in many patients.


Cost Economic Fractures Hip Nonvertebral Treatment