Tools for Assessing Fracture Risk and for Treatment Monitoring

  • William D. LeslieEmail author
  • Lisa M. Lix
  • Suzanne N. Morin


The suboptimal performance of bone mineral density (BMD) as the sole predictor of fracture risk and treatment decision-making has led to the development of risk prediction algorithms that estimate fracture probability using multiple risk factors for fracture, including basic demographic and physical characteristics, personal and family history, other health conditions, and medication use. This chapter reviews selected risk assessment tools, based upon absolute fracture probability and their potential for treatment decision-making and monitoring. Validated prognostic models for fracture risk assessment can guide clinicians and individuals in understanding the risk of having an osteoporosis-related fracture and inform their decision-making to mitigate these risks. Fracture probability algorithms that have been independently evaluated in at least one other cohort include the World Health Organization FRAX®, the Garvan Fracture Risk Calculator, and the QResearch Database’s QFracture®. The role for risk prediction tools is expanding beyond the initial decision regarding treatment initiation, but data are limited. For example, FRAX appears to be useful in assessing individuals on treatment. However, fracture probability is not particularly responsive to osteoporosis treatments and cannot be recommended as a target for goal-directed therapy. More treatment-responsive measures need to be identified to better inform the osteoporosis management paradigm.


Osteoporosis Fractures Prediction tools Bone densitometry Treatment Bisphosphonates Monitoring 


Sources of Support

LML is supported by a Manitoba Research Chair. SNM is Chercheur-clinicien Boursier des Fonds de la Recherche en Sante du Quebec.


WDL (all fees paid to facility). Speaker bureau: Amgen, Eli Lilly, and Novartis. Research grants: Amgen and Genzyme. SNM: Consultant to Amgen, Novartis, Eli Lilly, and Merck. Speaker bureau: Amgen and Novartis. Research grant: Amgen.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • William D. Leslie
    • 1
    • 2
  • Lisa M. Lix
    • 3
  • Suzanne N. Morin
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of MedicineSt. Boniface General HospitalWinnipegCanada
  2. 2.Departments of Medicine and RadiologyUniversity of ManitobaWinnipegCanada
  3. 3.Department of Community Health SciencesUniversity of ManitobaWinnipegCanada
  4. 4.Department of MedicineMcGill University Health CenterMontrealCanada

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