Broken bones and stress fractures are no walk in the park, especially for a person with osteoporosis, a condition where the body’s natural production of new bone tissues does not keep up with the elimination of old bone tissues. Osteoporosis increases the risks for fractures because of the bones’ weak and brittle property, so that even normal activities like coughing, bending over, and fast walking can lead to bone breaks.
Fortunately, there is hope for broken bones among patients with osteoporosis although it must be emphasized that prompt and proper medical attention is a must for good recovery.
Referral to Specialist
While many types of fractures can heal on their own (i.e., no splints and medications involved), you may still be referred to a specialist to further assess your physical condition. In people with osteoporosis, even a fragility fracture can quickly worsen.
Your doctor may refer you to one or all of the following specialists:
- Orthopedic doctor for placing the cast on your broken bone
- Physiatrist, a specialist involved in the treatment of problems related to nerves, muscles and bones (to help in your normal movement)
- Occupational or physical therapist, a specialist who will aid in the recovery and resumption of your normal activities after the fracture has healed
Be sure to come for your doctor appointments as you will be provided with the appropriate treatment and prevention protocol to speed up your recovery and reduce your risks for future fractures.
Your treatment protocol will depend on the type, location and severity of your fractures. Your doctor will usually use a wide range of options including casts, antibiotics and painkillers to facilitate recovery from your broken bone.
- Spine fractures
In a mild spine fracture, your doctor may only prescribe rest, painkillers, and appropriate exercises to manage your pain including muscle spasms while your one heals. You may also be asked to wear a back brace to reduce any untoward stress on your spine.
But when your pain becomes severe in duration, frequency or intensity, your doctor may also consider other procedures, such as vertebroplasty (i.e., injection of one cement) or kyphoplasty (i.e., insertion of a balloon device).
- Hip fractures
Your doctor may recommend surgical repair of the bones with nails, screws and plates; partial or total hip replacement; and safe exercises designed to improve movement and build bone strength.
- Wrist and arm fractures
Your doctor will also use either a cast or a splint depending on the location of the broken bone. You may also be taught exercises to improve movement and build bone strength in the affected bone and its surrounding area.
Be sure to discuss preventive measures, such as taking Vitamin D supplements, engaging in weight-bearing exercises, and limiting certain activities, with your doctor.
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