Tips for clinicians and other health care professionals1

Evaluate your patients over 50 years of age, particularly those with known risk factors for osteoporosis, and look for:

  • Loss of height (more than 3 cm / just over an inch).
  • Sudden severe back pain in the mid and lower spine.
  • Increased stoop or ‘dowager’s hump’.

Conduct a baseline height measurement of your patients and carry out yearly comparisons.

Consider using lateral DXA (or VFA) to identify vertebral fractures.

Use lateral spinal x-rays to confirm vertebral fractures.

Initiate treatment for people with prevalent vertebral fractures with appropriate therapy to prevent further fractures.

  1. The breaking spine, International Osteoporosis foundation report 2010.