About fragility fractures
What are fragility fractures?
A fragility fracture is a fracture resulting from a fall from a standing height or less.
What causes fragility fractures?
Bones are living tissue, which continue to remodel, reaching peak bone mass in a person in their late 20s. However, as people age, bones start to lose their strength and density making them more susceptible to fractures.
What is osteoporosis?
Osteoporosis is a condition in which bones lose their strength and are more likely to fracture. It is sometimes called the ‘silent disease’, as there are usually no tell-tale symptoms until the first break, or ‘fragility fracture’, occurs.
What causes osteoporosis?
Bone tissue is alive and constantly changes through life to ensure it remains as healthy as possible. However, as we age our bones start to lose their strength and density making us more susceptible to fractures and possibly developing osteoporosis. People who have had one fracture are at greater risk of another - around 23% of secondary fractures occur within a year of the first fracture.1
However, there are other factors that can also contribute to the development of osteoporosis including family history, lifestyle choices and certain medical conditions and medications:
- Family members with osteoporosis may have an increased chance of developing this condition
- Poor diet, lack of exercise, smoking, excessive alcohol consumption and eating disorders may increase risk
- Medical conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, coeliac disease and hyperthyroidism can also have an effect
- Treatments such as glucocorticoid steroids, certain breast or prostate cancer therapies and anti-epileptic drugs
How do I know if I have osteoporosis?
There are rarely any symptoms associated with osteoporosis, which is why this condition often remains undiagnosed until the first fracture. Therefore, it is important to identify the risk early to allow you to take steps to help reduce the likelihood of fracture and potentially developing osteoporosis.
How can I minimise my risk of developing osteoporosis?
The food that we eat has an effect on the health of our bones, while regular exercise can help build and maintain bone strength.
Combining a nutrient-rich diet of protein, fruit and vegetables with regular weight bearing exercise such as walking, jogging, Pilates and muscle strengthening exercises (i.e. exercising with weights) can help minimise the risk of developing osteoporosis.
A sufficient intake of calcium, which can be found in milk, cheese, green leafy vegetables, bread and nuts, and vitamin D, found in fish and eggs, is important to strengthen bones. The daily recommended allowance for adults is 700mg of calcium and 10mcg of vitamin D. However, if your diet is deficient in calcium and vitamin D, you can use supplements bought from your local pharmacy or health food shop.
About the Osentia® test
Where can I purchase Osentia®?
Osentia® is available to purchase online on the Osentia® website, Gordon's Pharmacy, Superdrug and Weldrick's online. You can also purchase in Gordon's pharmacies and leading independent pharmacies.
What does the Osentia® kit contain?
The kit contains instructions for use, a questionnaire order form, a collection bag for the nail sample, an envelope for the nail clipping and a pre-paid envelope to post the order form and sample collection bag back to the laboratory for analysis.
What if there is something missing from the Osentia® test box?
If anything is missing from your Osentia® test box, please call us on 0344 243 6661 or email us at [email protected] and we will arrange replacement items.
Should I use a toenail or fingernail?
Either a fingernail or toenail clipping can be used to assess your fragility risk, as long as the nail sample provided is at least 2mm in depth and 5mm long. To help you with this, we have included a life-size nail sample size diagram in the ‘Instructions for Use’ guide.
Why do the instructions suggest soaking my nails in warm water before collecting a sample?
Soaking your nails in warm water will help soften them, enabling you to clip them more easily.
If I use nail varnish do I need to remove it?
Yes, you must remove any nail varnish, gel polish, acrylics, oils or moisturisers from your nail before collecting a sample. This is because the ingredients in these products may affect the test results.
Do I need to provide more than one sample?
No, one nail clipping is sufficient to conduct the Osentia® test.
Completing the request form
There is no space on the form to list my medication
We do not need any information about your current medication to perform the Osentia® test. Should you wish, you may list the medication you were taking at the time you collected your sample for your own records.
Why do you want my age?
As age is an important risk factor for osteoporosis, this information is essential for evaluating your results correctly; it is important that you disclose it.
Why do you want my signature?
We ask for your signature as proof of your consent to undertake the Osentia® test.
I threw away the verification slip, does this matter?
The verification slip is not required for the testing process; it is simply for your records and peace of mind.
There is not enough space for my name/address/phone number, what do I do?
If you are unable to fit all your details onto the request form, please write them onto a separate piece of paper and attach this to the form. Please be sure to sign and date the added sheet of paper too.
I've torn/damaged the form, what do I do?
If you have damaged your form, please contact us at [email protected] for guidance.
Packing and posting nail clipping sample
What do I need to send back to the laboratory for analysis?
We require your nail clipping sample in the small re-sealable collection bag provided, marked with the unique reference number sticker from your questionnaire form.
We also need the questionnaire form. However, please make sure you cut off the top part of the questionnaire form at the dotted line, and retain this for your own reference should you need to get in touch with us.
All items to be despatched to Osentia® will need to be put in the pre-paid envelope provided
How much is the postage?
There is no cost for postage if you use the envelope provided in your Osentia® test as this is pre-paid.
Do I need to keep proof of postage?
It is not necessary to keep proof of postage, although should you require it for peace of mind, please see your Post Office.
What happens if my sample is lost/delayed in transit?
If you have not heard from us after seven working days from the postage of your sample please contact us at [email protected] for guidance.
Interpreting your result
How will I receive my results?
Your results will be provided by email or post depending on which method you select on your questionnaire form. If you have not received your results within 7 working days of posting the sample please contact us at [email protected] for guidance.
How do I interpret the results?
Information is provided in your results letter, however if you have any questions or concerns please contact us at [email protected].
What can I do if I do not understand the results?
If you are unable to understand the results, please contact us at [email protected] for guidance. Alternatively, contact your health professional.
What if my health professional refuses to take my results seriously?
If you wish to speak to a health professional about your Osentia® results, we advise you to take your results letter with you, as this will explain to them what the test is for. If your pharmacist or GP/doctor has any queries regarding the validity of the results we have provided, please ask them to visit the Osentia® website or contact us at [email protected] for further information.
Can you send me another copy of the report?
We would be more than happy to send another copy of your report. Please contact us at [email protected] with your unique reference number to arrange this.
National Osteoporosis Society. Effective Secondary prevention of Fragility Fractures. Clinical Standards for Fracture Liaison Services. April 2015. Available from: https://www.nos.org.uk/document.doc?id=1941