Timing of osteoporosis therapies following fracture: the current status

Ther Adv Endocrinol Metab. 2022 Jul 22;13:20420188221112904. doi: 10.1177/20420188221112904. eCollection 2022.


In most patients, osteoporosis is diagnosed only after the occurrence of the first fragility fracture. It is of utmost importance to start osteoporosis medications immediately in these patients to prevent future fractures and also to reduce associated mortality and morbidity. There remains a hesitancy over initiating osteoporotic medications, specifically for antiresorptive agents like bisphosphonates following an acute fracture due to concern over their effect on fracture healing. The purpose of this review is to study the effect of the timing of initiation of different osteoporosis medications on healing after an acute fracture. Most of the human studies, including randomized control trials (RCTs), did not find any significant negative effect on fracture healing with early use of bisphosphonate after an acute fracture. Anabolic agents like teriparatide have shown either neutral or beneficial effects on fracture healing and thus can be started very early following any osteoporotic fracture. Although human studies on the early use of other osteoporosis medications like denosumab or strontium ranelate are very sparse in the literature, none of these medications have shown any evidence of delay in fracture healing. To summarize, among the commonly used anti-osteoporosis agents, both bisphosphonates and teriparatide are safe to be initiated in the early acute post-fracture period. Moreover, teriparatide has shown some evidence in favor of reducing fracture healing time.

Keywords: acute fracture; bisphosphonate; denosumab; teriparatide; timing.

Publication types

  • Review