Osteoporosis is a condition in which bones lose their strength and are more likely to break, usually following a minor bump or fall. Broken bones are also referred to as ‘fractures’ (the words mean the same thing). Fractures that occur because of reduced bone strength are described as ‘fragility fractures’ and many of these will be caused by osteoporosis. One in two women and one in five men over the age of 50 experience fractures, mostly as a result of low bone strength. Although fragility fractures caused by osteoporosis can happen in various parts of the body, the wrists, hips and spine are the most commonly affected sites.
Osteoporosis is also a term used to describe low bone density as measured on a bone density (DXA) scan. This means your bones may have lost strength.