, Volume 24, Issue 3, pp 1089-1094
Date: 15 Dec 2012

Initiation of osteoporosis assessment in the fracture clinic results in improved osteoporosis management: a randomised controlled trial

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Osteoporosis management post fragility fracture has traditionally been deficient with up to 60–90 % of patients remaining untreated for osteoporosis in some studies. Efforts have been made to address this deficiency with some successes reported.


The aim of this study was to assess the efficacy of two different models of screening for osteoporosis in a community fracture clinic setting.


A prospective randomised clinical trial was conducted to assess the DXA scan and treatment rates in patients with fragility fractures when assessment for osteoporosis had been initiated in the fracture clinic compared with the “usual care” of assessment initiation by the participant’s general practitioner.


Sixty-six patients were enrolled in the study. Thirty-three patients each were in the control and intervention groups. The assessment rate (DXA scan rate) was significantly better in the intervention group where participants were referred for assessment from fracture clinic compared to the control group where participants were referred for assessment by their general practitioner (68 vs 36 %, respectively; p < 0.05). For patients who were assessed for osteoporosis, treatment rates were similar in both the control and intervention groups (100 vs 88 %, p > 0.05).


This study demonstrates that screening for osteoporosis initiated in fracture clinic results in improved osteoporosis management compared to screening initiated in primary care. Orthopaedic surgeons and other specialists need to be more active in managing osteoporosis in patients who present with fragility fractures and should at the very least initiate assessment in the fracture clinic setting.