Fracture risk assessment

A number of ‘fracture risk assessment tools’ have been developed to help health professionals identify who is at high risk of fracture. A commonly-used assessment tool is called FRAX.

When doctors are deciding who needs a drug treatment to reduce their risk of a fracture, they use a fracture risk assessment. A bone density scan will usually form part of the overall assessment, but is usually not solely relied on as there are many other factors that can impact our likelihood of breaking a bone.

Fracture risk assessments come in a simple questionnaire format, asking a number of questions about our risk factors including age, sex, weight, height, history of previous fractures, parental history of hip fractures and whether we have other medical conditions known to affect bone strength.

More about osteoporosis risk factors

Understanding fracture risk assessment results

One of the main benefits of fracture risk assessment tools is that they provide results that quantify the likelihood of us breaking a bone in the next 10 years, usually given as a percent. Health professionals can then use available guidelines to decide whether the risk is high enough for an osteoporosis drug treatment.

More about osteoporosis drug treatments