DOI: 10.1177/1759720x231212747 ISSN: 1759-720X

The role of the fracture liaison service in the prevention of atypical femoral fractures

Giuseppe Toro, Adriano Braile, Sara Liguori, Antimo Moretti, Giovanni Landi, Antonio Benedetto Cecere, Gianluca Conza, Annalisa De Cicco, Umberto Tarantino, Giovanni Iolascon
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Rheumatology

Osteoporosis and fragility fractures (FFs) are considered critical health problems by the World Health Organization (WHO) because of high morbidity, mortality, and healthcare costs. The occurrence of a FF raises the risk of a subsequent fracture (refracture). The hip is the most common site of fragility refracture, and its onset is associated with a further increase in patient’s morbidity, mortality, and socioeconomic burden. Therefore, the prevention of refracture is essential. In this context, fracture liaison service (FLS) demonstrated to be able to reduce FF risk and also improve patients’ adherence to anti-osteoporotic treatments, particularly for bisphosphonates (BPs). However, long-term and high adherence to BPs may lead to atypical femoral fractures (AFFs). These latter are tensile side stress fractures of the femur, with high rates of complications, including delayed and non-healing. An effective FLS should be able to prevent both FF and AFF. A comprehensive and interdisciplinary approach, through the involvement and education of a dedicated team of healthcare professionals (i.e. orthopedic, geriatrician, primary care physician, rehabilitation team, and bone nurse) for evaluating both FF and AFF risks might be useful to improve the standard of care.

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