Short course

Osteosarcopenia: Preventing falls and fractures in older persons


The world’s population is ageing and common chronic diseases affecting our older population, such as osteoporosis and sarcopenia, place a significant burden on the individual as well as the healthcare system.

Osteoporosis is a condition characterised by reduced bone mineral density (BMD) and bone quality, which leads to brittle and weak bones and increases the risk of fracture, particularly of the hip, spine and wrist. Sarcopenia is the progressive and generalised loss of skeletal muscle mass and strength or function. Both conditions share common risk factors and biological pathways, and are associated with significant physical disability, poor quality of life, and higher morbidity and mortality. Osteosarcopenia, a combination of osteoporosis and sarcopenia, is where individuals experience a synchronic loss of BMD and muscle mass, strength, and function which represents a huge threat to a loss of independence.


Several studies have demonstrated only a minority of post-fracture older persons are classified as osteoporotic by their medical practitioners, even when the fracture was associated with a fall and/or fulfils the criteria for a minimal trauma fracture. Sarcopenia was only recently (2016) included in the International Standard Classification of Diseases, Version 10 (ICD-10-Clinical Modification). Although medical practitioners may be aware of the importance of fall prevention in the elderly, the newness of sarcopenia and osteosarcopenia means these conditions are rarely diagnosed and risks identified for falls and fractures.

The course is specifically designed for medical practitioners. It provides a comprehensive education on osteoporosis, sarcopenia and the newer condition ‘osteosarcopenia’ in older persons.

Learning outcomes

The course provides knowledge and skills, readily assimilated into daily clinical practice, on:

  • Bone and muscle biology
  • Pathophysiology of osteoporosis and sarcopenia
  • Risk factors and clinical assessment
  • Diagnostic methods
  • Treatment options

for osteoporosis, sarcopenia and osteosarcopenia.

After completing this course, the medical practitioner will be able to:

  1. Understand the specific and common mechanisms of muscle and bone loss in older persons
  2. Describe the pathophysiology of osteoporosis, sarcopenia and osteosarcopenia
  3. Identify the risk factors for falls and fractures in older persons
  4. Evaluate secondary causes of osteoporosis, sarcopenia and osteosarcopenia
  5. Interpret a densitometry report, including bone mineral density and body composition analysis
  6. Follow practical diagnostic and therapeutic algorithms applicable to osteoporotic and sarcopenic patients
  7. Design an evidence-based integrated care plan for osteoporosis and sarcopenia including non-pharmacological and pharmacological interventions
  8. Evaluate current and future therapeutic approaches for osteoporosis and sarcopenia

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Delivery Mode

Fully Online (approximately 15 hours of learning)

Course units

* Pathophysiology
* Risk factors and risk algorithms
* Clinical assessment 1
* Clinical assessment 2
* Diagnosis
* Treatment


The assessment is submission of six self-assessments and 12 case studies.
A Certificate of Completion is provided upon satisfactory completion of the course.

Course leaders

Course Director

Professor Gustavo Duque


Professor Gustavo Duque
Dr Sharon Brennan-Olsen
Dr Jesse Zanker
Dr Ebrahim Bani Hassan
Mr Steven Phu

Course Information


Full Price: AUD $500

Student Price: AUD $250