Fractures are common in elderly subjects, disabling and occasionally fatal. Their incidence increases exponentially with age, with the commonest affected sites being the wrist, vertebrae, hip and humerus. Of these, hip fractures are the most relevant in terms of morbidity and financial cost. The increase in fracture rate with age is believed to result predominantly from age-related increases in the incidence of osteoporosis and falls. This article reviews the evidence for the use of vitamin D and bisphosphonates for the prevention of bone fractures and osteoporosis in elderly patients.