Osteoporosis is often called the ‘silent disease’ as there are no symptoms of the bone loss that weakens the bones. In many cases people do not know they have osteoporosis until they break a bone doing something minor that would not usually cause a fracture, such as having a small trip or fall.
When low-trauma fractures (sometimes called fragility fractures) occur in the hands, wrist, arms, shoulders, spine or hips they are likely to be caused by osteoporosis and are called fragility fractures. Recent studies show that a previous wrist fracture can put individuals at a higher risk of suffering from a subsequent hip fracture. Only a quarter of osteoporotic fractures in the spine are due to a fall; most occur during routine everyday activities and can cause back pain, loss of height and curvature of the spine.
If you have had a low trauma fracture it is worth having a discussion with your GP to see whether you need further tests to ensure you are not suffering from osteoporosis.
Wrist fracture is one of the most common type of fragility fracture. To read more about the treatment and local management of wrist fractures please see Kingston Hospital Wrist Fracture Patient Information Leaflet.