Many Fracture Liaison Services (FLSs) have been successfully implemented, but very few incorporate systematic longitudinal follow-up. The objective of this study was to report on the performance of such an FLS using key performance indicators and longitudinal clinical outcomes.
An FLS was implemented in 2 outpatient orthopaedic clinics. Men and women who were ≥40 years of age and had a recent fragility fracture were recruited. Participants were evaluated, treated when appropriate, and systematically followed over a 2-year period. Clinical data including chart review and questionnaires were collected. Medical services and hospitalization claims data were retrieved from administrative databases. The primary outcomes were the following key performance indicators: the numbers of investigated and treated patients, follow-up attendance, and the incidence of subsequent fractures. Secondary outcomes were the changes in bone turnover markers and quality of life, physical capacity, and pain scores between baseline and follow-up visits.
A total of 532 subjects with a mean age of 63.4 years were recruited; 85.7% were female. Bone mineral density results were collected for 472 subjects (88.7%) and a prescription for anti-osteoporosis medication was given to 86.6% of patients. Overall, 83.6% of patients attended at least 1 follow-up visit. The subsequent fracture incidence rate was 2.6 per 100 person-years (23 fractures). The mean level of type-I collagen C-telopeptide (CTX-1), a bone resorption marker, decreased >35%. Clinically important improvements of functional capacity scores (by 14.4% to 63.7%) and pain level (by 19.3% to 35.7%) were observed over time; however, the increase in quality-of-life scores was not clinically important (by 3% to 15.2%).
In this FLS, the rates of investigation, treatment, and participation were >80% over a 2-year period. The subsequent fragility fracture incidence rate was <3 per 100 person-years. These results suggest that an intensive FLS model of care, with a systematic longitudinal follow-up, is effective. A randomized controlled trial is needed to support these results.
Level of Evidence:
Prognostic Level IV. See Instructions for Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.