It is acknowledged that the COVID-19 pandemic has caused profound disruption to the delivery of healthcare services globally. This has affected the management of many long-term conditions including osteoporosis as resources are diverted to cover urgent care. Osteoporosis is a public health concern worldwide and treatment is required for the prevention of further bone loss, deterioration of skeletal micro-architecture, and fragility fractures. This review provides information on how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the diagnosis and management of osteoporosis. We also provide clinical recommendations on the adaptation of care pathways based on experience from five referral centres to ensure that patients with osteoporosis are still treated and to reduce the risk of fractures both for the individual patient and on a societal basis. We address the use of the FRAX tool for risk stratification and initiation of osteoporosis treatment and discuss the potential adaptations to treatment pathways in view of limitations on the availability of DXA. We focus on the issues surrounding initiation and maintenance of treatment for patients on parenteral therapies such as zoledronate, denosumab, teriparatide, and romosozumab during the pandemic. The design of these innovative care pathways for the management of patients with osteoporosis may also provide a platform for future improvement to osteoporosis services when routine clinical care resumes.


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Cite as

Hampson, G., Stone, M., Lindsay, J., Crowley, R. & Ralston, S. 2021, 'Diagnosis and Management of Osteoporosis During COVID-19: Systematic Review and Practical Guidance', Calcified Tissue International, 109(4), pp. 351-362. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00223-021-00858-9

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Last updated: 15 September 2022
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