Description of the prevalence of vertebral fractures in a fracture and osteoporosis outpatient clinic (FO-Clinic) and evaluation of the value of spinal radiographs by screening on osteoporosis. Retrospective data collection, description, and analysis. All patients admitted to the FO-Clinic during the period of December 2005 until October 2006 were enrolled in this study. At the FO-Clinic spinal radiographs were obtained and bone mineral density (BMD) was measured by Dual energy X-ray-Absorptiometry (DXA). During the study period, a total of 176 patients were screened at our FO-Clinic. In 41.5% of these patients, a vertebral fracture was diagnosed. There appeared to be an indication for anti-osteoporotic medication in 95 of the 176 patients. Of these 95 patients, 77% could be identified by spinal radiographs. Moreover, only 36% of all patients with a vertebral fracture did suffer from osteoporosis. The prevalence of vertebral fractures in patients screened at an FO-Clinic is high and spinal radiographs can identify up to 77% of patients in which anti-osteoporotic medication should be considered. However, fracture risk is not only dependent on bone quality but also on bone density. Therefore, the preferred method of screening on osteoporosis is DXA with vertebral fracture assessment and, if necessary, spinal radiographs. If DXA is not available, spinal radiographs might be used as a first step in osteoporosis screening.
- bone mineral density
- dual energy x-ray absorptiometry
- spinal radiograph
- vertebral fracture