Osteoporosis and Fractures
Osteoporosis is a condition seen primarily in postmenopausal women and older men. It involves progressive weakening and porosity of bony architecture – a good analogy is hard to press a lump of sugar vs. the readily crumbling sugar cube—due to hormonal and age-related changes. Osteoporosis can also be secondary to certain conditions such as cancers, endocrine problems, medications, infection, etc. An osteoporotic vertebral compression fracture (OVCF) is quite a different entity from a traumatic fracture. It can happen from simple bending forwards, trivial falls, or even a strong sneeze! A vast majority of these injuries are managed nonoperatively. Certain medications such as teriparatide injections and bisphosphonates, in addition to calcium and vitamin D supplements, provide significant benefits. A small number of these patients – most of them with missed initial injuries—develop a non-united fracture or severe spinal curve/hunched back that might need surgical intervention.
Common treatment modalities are:
- Braces, rest, pain relief, anti-resorptive medicines
- Spine Stabilization + vertebral augmentation
- Cement augmentation with Kyphoplasty /Vertebroplasty.