Etiology and Biomechanics of Hip and Vertebral Fractures

  • Mary L. Bouxsein
  • Karl J. Jepsen


Fractures are one of the most dramatic and devastating sequelae of the aging of the human skeleton. In the United States alone, more than 1.5 million age-related fractures occur annually, inducting 300,000 hip and 500,000 vertebral fractures. Associated medical expenditures amount to nearly $14 billion annually. Moreover, on the basis of current demographic trends, which predict a dramatic increase in the number of individuals older than 70 years of age, the number of fractures is projected to double or triple in the next 50 years [1]. Clearly, interventions for reducing the incidence of fracture are needed. To be most effective, these interventions must be based on a sound understanding of the cause of fractures. In the past, the predominant view was that age-related fractures were strictly a consequence of bone loss. This view was based on studies showing a dramatic increase in fracture incidence with age and a greater fracture rate in women than in men (see Chapter 1). However, recent evidence indicates that factors related not only to skeletal fragility but also to skeletal loading influence the risk of fracture.


Bone Mineral Density Vertebral Fracture Trabecular Bone Failure Load Fracture Intervention Trial 
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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mary L. Bouxsein
  • Karl J. Jepsen

There are no affiliations available

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