Posts Tagged ‘Fracture’
Smoking is a major risk factor for fractures. Smoking suppresses the osteoblasts (the cells that make new bone). The osteoclasts (cells that eat away bone) then can easily outdo the osteoblasts, and you lose bone mass. Lower bone mass = more fractures.
Stopping smoking altogether is the best for your bone health. That is really tough to do. E-cigarettes have not proven less harmful to bone. Nicotine patches help only if they eventually lead to less nicotine intake than with smoking.
The damage smoking does to your bones (and lungs, and heart) is dose related. Therefore, cutting way down is almost as good as quitting, and often much easier to do.
Especially if you are trying to heal a fracture, stopping smoking, even for a few weeks, is really important. 1 ppd smokers are 5 to 10 times as likely to not heal a fracture. The same is true for infection rate after surgery.
Steroid Inhalers also suppress osteoblasts and bone formation. Unfortunately many cannot get off their steroid inhalers, even after they quit smoking. Major bummer.
Take Control Naturally of your bone health. Stop Smoking. Or at least cut way back.
Jay Ginther, MD
The purpose of good bone health is to prevent fractures. Most fractures happen as a result of a fall. If you do not fall, you decrease your fracture risk. How do you prevent falls?
Regular exercise will strengthen your muscles. Strong muscles are part of the solution. But you also need good balance. Good balance requires exercises to strengthen the muscles required for balance.
Balance exercises have been used for centuries to keep people limber and free from falling, and thereby, free from fractures. They are often taught in group sessions, but can be performed alone on any flat surface.
Tai Chi and Yoga are the best known ancient balance exercises. Daily, or at least 3 times weekly, sessions of 20-30 minutes will gradually improve your balance and prevent falls.
Less interesting, but easier to do anywhere, is simply walking on your toes for several minutes. More challenging is walking on your heels, like a penguin. If you can do that for 2 minutes straight, you have great muscles, strong ankles, and are unlikely to stumble, even on uneven ground.
Take Control Naturally by working on your Balance. Remember that proper nutrition is necessary for strong muscles and bones.
Jay Ginther, MD
This week I had a patient who has decided that she does not need to treat her Osteoporosis because she does not yet have symptoms. This could be a problem for her. The first symptom of Osteoporosis usually is a Fracture. Ouch!
Actually she has had symptoms. She has 5 Vertebral Compression Fracture Deformities in her thoracic spine. As is usually the case, she had aching, but not sharp pains, from these “crumble-type” fractures. Therefore she doesn’t really believe that they are “real” fractures.
Vertebral Fractures generally occur about a decade before Hip Fractures. They are the early warning that much more obvious, and much more inconvenient, fractures may be coming. You ignore that warning at your peril.
Clinical Osteoporosis is a Silent Disease until the first major Fracture (Bone Attack). Heart disease may be silent until the first Heart Attack. High Blood Pressure may be silent until the first stroke (Brain Attack). Each of these can change your whole life.
Osteoporosis with Fracture is far easier to prevent than to treat – for the patient as well as the doc. Why wait for a fracture? Why not start treatment before ruining your life for a few weeks – or forever.
Take Control of Your Life.
Jay Ginther, MD
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