We describe a constellation of bone diseases characterized by the common feature of acute, rapid, and severe bone loss accompanied by dramatic fracture rates. These disorders are poorly recognized, resulting mainly from systemic diseases, frailty, immobilization, and immunosuppressive drugs, such as glucocorticoids and the calcineurin inhibitors. The opportunity to prevent or treat fractures is commonly missed because they are often not detected. Ideally, patients need to be identified early and preventative therapy initiated promptly to avoid the rapid bone loss and fractures. The most effective therapy at present seems to be the bisphosphonates, particularly when bone resorption is predominant. However, more severe forms of bone loss that result from an osteoblastic defect and reduced bone formation may benefit potentially more from newer anabolic agents, such as recombinant human parathyroid hormone (rhPTH).