• hip fracture;
  • paleopathology;
  • Order of Saint Clare;
  • Coimbra;
  • Portugal


Osteoporosis is an evocative term for a metabolic disorder characterized by loss of bone mass and organization, which predisposes to fracture. The clinical consequences of osteoporosis lie in the problems associated with it, specifically hip, Colles and vertebral fractures. We present here an extracapsular fracture of the proximal femur in an aged female skeleton from the Santa Clara-a-Velha Monastery (14th–17th centuries) in Coimbra, Portugal. This fracture is probably secondary to an osteoporotic disorder. Bone remodeling at the fracture site confirms that this woman survived for a long period after sustaining a fracture of the proximal femur, suggestive of a solid community assistance and support. Copyright © 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.