Posts Tagged ‘Bone Turnover’
Patients, Primary Care Docs, and Orthopedic Surgeons all worry about bone surgery while on Osteoporosis Medications. They also worry about Atypical Fractures of the Femur (AFF). There is one medication that actually helps bone healing and is routinely used to treat AFF. That is the Anabolic, Forteo.
Atypical Fracture of the Femur is quite rare. AFF has become less rare since we started treating osteoporosis with Antiresorptive Osteoporosis Medications. Typical Femur Fractures are still about 100 times as common – and we can prevent over half of those with Antiresorptive Osteoporosis Medications.
AFF is a Stress Fracture, usually just below the hip, that starts on the lateral side of the Femur. It is a small crack, which can gradually spread across the bone.
The best treatment for a stress fracture is stimulating the cells that make new bone (OsteoBlasts) and also stimulating the cells that gobble up bone (OsteoClasts). This increases bone turnover, which is needed for healing a fracture, especially a stress fracture.
Forteo is the only Anabolic we currently have in the USA. Forteo is routinely used to treat AFF before, as well as after, the fracture. It is also used to treat other stress fractures such as metatarsals in the feet and “shin splints” in the proximal shaft of tibia.
Forteo is also commonly used to enhance healing in osteoporotic patients in spine fusions and in total joint replacement.
Jay Ginther, MD
Several patients have concerns about oral surgery while taking Prolia. This is not a problem – if you follow guidelines.
Prolia is different from other Antiresorptives. Prolia does not accumulate in bone. 5 to 6 months after your last dose, Prolia has lost its effect of slowing bone turnover. Therefore, it is safe to proceed with surgery on bone (including dental surgery) 6 months after your last dose.
Patients worry about OsteoNecrosis of the Jaw (ONJ), but this is very rare. In fact ONJ virtually never occurs without a tooth extraction or serious periodontal disease. Even then, it is rare unless you also have cancer, have poorly controlled diabetes, or are seriously Deficient in Vitamin D3, or Calcium, or Protein intake.
Elective Orthopedic Surgery timing is the same. If you need a Total Hip Replacement (THR) or Total Knee Replacement (TKR), schedule the surgery for 6 months after your last dose of Prolia.
Any time you plan to have surgery on bone, you should Optimize Your Bone Health First. Get a Complete Bone Health Evaluation. Optimize your Vitamin D level (at 40 to 80 ng/ml). Optimize your Calcium intake in foods and supplements combined (at 400 to 500 mg at all 3 meals daily). Optimize your daily Protein intake (1 g Protein for every kg body weight).
Sometimes you will also need the Anabolic, Forteo, to increase bone matrix and improve healing. More about that another time.
Get the best possible result from orthopedic or dental surgery. Wait 6 months after Prolia, and do your part to optimize your bone health.
Jay Ginther, MD
Recently a patient asked me to review all osteoporosis medications for her to consider and choose from. We had already optimized her Calcium intake, 25-hydroxy Vitamin D level, Protein intake, Multiple Vitamins & Minerals, and Exercise program. These had all helped substantially, but not enough for her peace of mind. She feels that she needs osteoporosis medication too. Here they are:
Forteo (Teriparatide) increases the thickness of the struts making up spongy (cancellous) bone. Forteo is the only osteoporosis medication to do that. It also makes the hard outer shell (cortical bone) thicker. How? Forteo stimulates OsteoBlasts. They make bone matrix, the collagen protein that is more than 80% of bone.
Forteo also stimulates bone turnover. Healthy bone is constantly being resorbed and replaced. This allows bone to eliminate the micro-cracks that gradually accumulate with activity. Bone is strongest when it is a mixture of older more calcified (stiffer) material mixed thoroughly with younger less calcified (somewhat bendable) material. Cracks cannot enlarge. Strength is better. More force is required to fracture the bone.