At least 1 in 3 women and 1 in 5 men will suffer a fragility fracture in their lifetime caused by osteoporosis. In Canada, 200,000 fractures occur each year, including 30,000 hip fractures. Of the Canadians who break a hip, 28% of women and 37% of men will die within the first year after their fracture. The rest will experience pain and loss of independence.
The acute hospitalization costs for fractures in Canada are $1.2 billion annually. The total costs, when considering outpatient care, prescription drugs and long term care costs for all fracture types is staggering, estimated in 2010 to be $3.9 billion per year in Canada. This does not include personal or financial loss experienced by patients or their caregivers.
It is essential that people presenting with fragility fractures of the hip, spine, wrist and shoulder receive high-quality preventive care. Currently, over 80% of Canadians who suffer a fragility fracture never receive the osteoporosis screening and/or treatment they need to prevent their next fracture.
The good news is that many of the fragility fractures can be prevented and many lives saved with Fracture Liaison Services (FLS). FLS is a model of care which has been proven in Canada and other countries to reduce the incidence of repeat fractures and the related pain and suffering while resulting in cost savings to the healthcare system. Osteoporosis Canada urges all jurisdictions to implement an effective FLS by 2015.
To support ongoing implementation of FLS, Osteoporosis Canada has developed Quality Standards for FLS in Canada. These standards provide very clear guidance to healthcare professionals and administrators on what a world-class FLS can and will deliver. To date (November 25, 2014), these Quality Standards have been endorsed by the Canadian Orthopaedic Association, the Canadian Orthopaedic Nurses Association, Bone and Joint Canada and the Canadian Rheumatology Association.
The Quality Standards for Fracture Liaison Services in Canada are available at www.osteoporosis.ca/fls/quality-standards. For more information, contact Dr. Diane Thériault at