Practice Patterns and Performance in U.S. Fracture Liaison Programs: An Analysis of >32,000 Patients from the Own the Bone Program

J Bone Joint Surg Am. 2018 Apr 18;100(8):680-685. doi: 10.2106/JBJS.17.00665.


Background: We are not aware of any previous investigation assessing a national cohort of patients enrolled in a fracture liaison service (FLS) program in an open health-care system to ascertain prevalent practice patterns. The objective of this investigation was to determine, in a geographically diverse group of centers in a single FLS program, the percentage of patients for whom anti-osteoporosis treatment was recommended or started as well as to identify associations between patient and fracture variables and the likelihood of treatment being recommended.

Methods: The study utilized the Own the Bone program registry, which included 32,671 unique patient records with the required data. The primary outcome measure was whether a recommendation to start anti-osteoporosis treatment was made to the patient at the time of program enrollment. The associations between patient and fracture variables and the likelihood of having treatment recommended were calculated.

Results: Anti-osteoporosis treatment was recommended to 72.8% of patients and was initiated for 12.1%. A sedentary lifestyle and a parent who had sustained a hip fracture increased the likelihood of a treatment recommendation by 10% and 12%, respectively. While patients with a spinal fracture were 11% more likely to have received a treatment recommendation, those with a hip fracture were 2% less likely to have received such a recommendation. Age was not strongly associated with the likelihood of receiving a treatment recommendation but was associated with the initiation of treatment.

Conclusions: Practitioners at sites in the Own the Bone program recommend anti-osteoporosis treatment, at the time of initial evaluation, to about three-quarters of patients who present with a fragility fracture. This is a very strong improvement over previously reported national data. The findings that a hip fracture had the lowest association and age had very little association with the likelihood of recommending treatment were unexpected and perhaps deserve further investigation.

Clinical relevance: FLS programs and sites as well as all those who manage patients with a fragility fracture can utilize the information derived from this study to improve practice patterns for the care of these patients.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Observational Study

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Bone Density Conservation Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Osteoporosis / drug therapy*
  • Osteoporotic Fractures / prevention & control*
  • Practice Patterns, Physicians' / statistics & numerical data
  • Registries
  • United States


  • Bone Density Conservation Agents