DescriptionAn in-depth report on the causes, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of osteoporosis.
Among the nonsurgical treatments for fractures are braces, plaster cases, and manipulation of the fracture. Such approaches have not been well studied to determine an optimal method, and patients should discuss all options with their physicians.
Reconstructive surgery is usually used for hip fractures and should be performed within 48 hours, assuming the patient has no other complicating medical conditions. After surgery, the patient should be mobilized within the first day. In one study, protein supplements helped people with hip fractures recover more quickly and reduced bone loss.
Percutaneous Vertebroplasty and Variants for Osteoporosis Fractures in the Spine
Percutaneous vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty are surgical procedures now being used to lessen pain. Data to date suggest that they are safe and provide pain relief for many patients. In some cases they may increase height. There have been few controlled trials, however, and more research is needed to determine long-term effects.
Percutaneous Vertebroplasty. Percutaneous vertebroplasty involves the injection of a cement-like bone substitute into damaged vertebrae. It is proving useful for stabilizing the spine and relieving pain in patients with spinal compression fractures due to osteoporosis or cancer. Success rates of over 90% have been reported. Serious complications occur in fewer than 1% of cases.
Kyphoplasty. Kyphoplasty is a variant of percutaneous vertebroplasty that may help prevent kyphosis (hunchback) in patients whose spines have collapsed. The procedure inserts a balloon into the fractured vertebrae. As the balloon inflates, the spine is moved upward, to its original location. The balloon is then removed, and the bone and the core of the newly-erect vertebrae are filled with a cement. In one 2003 study, short-term symptom relief improved by 70% and was immediate. Long-term effectiveness is not yet known.