Osteoporosis is serious, common and potentially preventable. In hospitals it most frequently presents as fracture of the hip or forearm; hip fractures alone occur in about 40,000 people each year in England and Wales, with a mortality of 15% and in-patient costs of approximately £200 million.1 Vertebral fractures are even more common, causing deformity and pain, but reliable figures for morbidity and cost are not available. Didronel PMO (etidronate + calcium; Norwich Eaton) has recently been introduced for the ‘treatment of established vertebral osteoporosis’.
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