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Osteoporosis Bone Fractures: A Treatment Overview

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Hip Treatments

Treating a hip fracture depends on where your hip is broken, how severe the break is, and your overall health. Treatment options may include:

  • Surgical repair with screws, nails, or plates
  • A partial or total hip replacement
  • Exercises to help you move better and build strength

Wrist and Arm Care

The best treatment depends on the location of the break. With the right protection, some fractures may heal on their own. Then you may simply need:

  • A cast or splint
  • Exercises for your hand, wrist, forearm, elbow, or shoulder

When you need surgery, a doctor may implant a plate, screws, wires, rods, pins, or an external fixator. These devices hold the bone in place while it heals. If the bone is in more than two pieces, a bone graft can stimulate faster bone healing.

Preventing Broken Bones

When you have osteoporosis, working to prevent another fracture is a key part of your plan. That plan is likely to include diet, exercise, supplements (including calcium and vitamin D), and osteoporosis medication to strengthen your bones.

Be sure to discuss with your doctor how new drugs will work with your current medicines, when to take bone drugs, and potential side effects. Also talk to your doctor about:

  • Daily supplements of vitamin D. The National Osteoporosis Foundation recommends 400-800 IU of vitamin D and 1,000 mg of calcium daily for adults younger than 50.Those 50 and older should get 800-1,000 IU vitamin D and 1,200 mg calcium daily.
  • Cutting back on sodas, alcohol, caffeine, and tobacco
  • Eating a balanced, healthy diet
  • Weight-bearing exercises like walking, dancing, or tennis.
  • Resistance exercises like working out with hand weights or elastic bands
  • Changing the way you do certain activities
  • Balance training to help prevent falls

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Brunilda Nazario, MD on January 16, 2013
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