Osteoporosis is a “silent disease”. This means there are no symptoms until a bone has broken.

It is a thinning and weakening of the bones so they are more likely to fracture (break). Bone strength is determined by bone density and bone quality.

A “fragility fracture” is when a bone breaks during your usual activities. Fragility fractures result from falls from a standing position or less, that occur at no faster than walking speed, or from a minor bump.

How is it diagnosed?

The most accurate test used to diagnose osteoporosis is the bone density test or BMD test. It measures the amount of mineral found in your bones.

The results of this test are reported to you as a T-score. The score indicates if you are developing or have developed osteoporosis.

Your bone density is only one part of your risk for breaking a bone. Other factors that are considered when determining your risk of fracture are your age, your gender, whether you take Prednisone and whether you have already had a fragility fracture.

Therefore the same T-score can mean different things for different people when all of these factors are looked at together. Your doctor will then determine your risk of breaking a bone and what type of treatment is required.