Osteoporotic Fractures | Causes, Treatments, and Impact

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Osteoporosis in spine
Compressed bones can cause severe pain

Osteoporosis, or low bone density, is the cause of many problems, the most prominent being Osteoporotic fractures. It is a condition that affects millions of Americans and can, in some cases, be fatal if not properly treated. Here is some helpful information to gain an understanding of the causes, treatment and impact of Osteoporotic fractures.

Causes of Osteoporotic Fractures

Osteoporotic fractures are caused, inherently, by Osteoporosis. Among the causes of Osteoporosis are excessive uses of caffeine and tobacco products, certain medications, antidepressants, and hypnotics.

Vulnerability to this disease only increases with age, and this proceeds naturally as the body starts to decay. Smoking, however, can heavily increase the chance of having an Osteoporotic fracture.

Caucasian women and those over the age of 50 are at an even higher increased risk of Osteoporotic fractures due to anatomically lower bone density and lower estrogen levels, respectively.

Treatments

The first treatment of Osteoporotic fractures is pain medication, though the type of treatment depends on the severity of the fracture. As many fractures happen in the spine, hospitalization and professional help are required.

External bracing is a treatment providing exterior support of high risk areas like the spine, and is usually used in conjunction with pain medications. Average treatments usually last four to six weeks in this case.

The last treatment for Osteoporotic fractures is Vertebroplasty, which is a procedure conducted when pain medications are no longer useful. A compound is injected into the affected area, causing almost immediate stabilization that relieves the pain of the compressed bones.

After a successful Vertebroplasty, patients may be sent home on the same day or be kept overnight, depending on the severity of the compressed area. Doctors will continue to monitor the patient’s pain levels to maintain stability and prevent further fracturing.

Impact

Osteoporotic fractures, especially among the elderly, act as a threshold to a life of dependency. Constant maintenance is required as patients become older, as the risk of fractures increases, in turn increasing the chances of death. The high chance of Osteoporotic fractures, makes the cost of managing them even higher, with more and more Osteoporotic admissions every day.

Prevention

Preventing Osteoporotic fractures can be quite easy. Ensuring a healthy amount of Calcium and Vitamin D will help bone mineralization and strength. Staying away from tobacco products and heavy uses of drugs like alcohol are also healthy life style choices that will not only prevent Osteoporotic fractures, but increase longevity as well.

One of your first lines of defense, though, is a visit to the doctor’s office. Knowing the state of your body gives you the edge you need to react properly to the various conditions you will face, especially as old age begins to take its toll. The impact of Osteoporotic fractures can be fatal but hopefully, with the knowledge gained here, you’ve discovered another tool for ensuring the safety of people everywhere.

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