Osteoporosis (OP), the most frequent bone disease affecting the general population, is associated with high fracture risk. Patients with impaired kidney function have bone and mineral disturbances leading to extraskeletal calcifications and complex changes in bone turnover that predispose them to increased fracture risk accompanied by increased morbidity and mortality. The combination of these two bone disorders seems to have an additive effect with regard to fracture risk and its outcome, so that appropriate diagnosis and treatment of this disorder should be of primary concern when approaching patients with kidney disease. Nevertheless, the clinical and laboratory diagnostic tools used to identify OP in the general population do not suit the requirement for detecting the complex bone and metabolic changes that occur with chronic kidney disease, leading to the lack of or the initiation of inappropriate therapy. This review will focus on the bone pathophysiologic processes involved in OP and renal osteodystrophy and address some of the problems associated with our current diagnostic tools and aspects of the therapeutic approaches.