Posts Tagged ‘osteoclasts’
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
Dentists and Oral Surgeons are sometimes wary of their patients being on ANY Osteoporosis Medications when they undergo tooth extractions or other dental proceedures. One osteoporosis medication is different from all the others. Forteo is the only Anabolic medication currently available in the USA. Forteo does not cause dental and jaw problems. Forteo can be used to treat ONJ and other bone problems of the jaw.
OsteoNecrosis of the Jaw (ONJ) is a rare complication of tooth extraction. If you have cancer, are on chemotherapy, have uncontrolled diabetes, or are on the higher doses of Antiresorptive Osteoporosis Medications used in Cancer Patients with Metastases, ONJ is less rare.
ONJ is the result of too slow bone repair by the OsteoBlasts (the cells that make new bone matrix). Antiresorptive medications slow down both OsteoClasts (the cells that resorb bone) and OsteoBlasts.
Forteo cannot cause ONJ. Forteo (Teriparatide) stimulates OsteoBlasts. That increases new bone matrix formation. Therefore, Forteo can prevent and treat ONJ.
Forteo has been shown to improve bone healing in dental surgery, including implant osseointegration and healing alveolar defects. Ref: Batshutski JD, Eber RM, Kinney JS, et al. Teriparatide and osseous regeneration in the oral cavity. N Engl J Med. 2010, 363:2396-2405. Ref: Kuchler U, Luvizuto ER, Tangl S, et al. Short-term Teriparatide delivery and osseointegration: a clinical feasibility study. J Dent R. 2011:90(8):1001-1006.
As a former orthopedic surgeon, I have discussed these issues with several of our local oral surgeons and dentists.
If you are facing oral surgery or tooth extraction, discuss your osteoporosis medications with your dental surgeon. Most osteoporosis medications should be held for your surgery. Forteo is the exception. Forteo actually helps your jaw heal after dental surgery.
Jay Ginther, MD
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.
Anabolic medication for osteoporosis actually increases bone thickness and strength! Antiresorptive medications for osteoporosis (Fosamax, Alendronate, Actonel, Atelvia, Boniva, Evista, Reclast, Prolia) only preserve bone.
We have talked about all of the Antiresorptive medications over the last 2 months. They are excellent treatment if slowing down the OsteoClasts (cells that eat away your bone) is sufficient. That is not always the case.
Now it is time to talk about something completely different. Anabolic medication stimulates the OsteoBlasts (cells that make new bone matrix). OsteoBlasts can rebuild your bones. If you have Fractures, your bones may need to be rebuilt.
Forteo (Teriparatide) is the only Anabolic medication for osteoporosis in the USA. Close cousins of Forteo are available in other countries.
You may need the Anabolic, Forteo, if you have a hip fracture, multiple other fractures, or if VFA testing reveals a Vertebral Compression Fracture. A DXA T-score well below -2.5 can be reason enough without fracture.
Glucocorticoid (Cortico-Steroid) medications (Prednisone, Steroid Inhalers) specifically supress OsteoBlasts (cells that make new bone). Stimulating the OsteoBlasts with the Anabolic, Forteo, can offset the bone loss from Steroid medications. Smoking also supresses OsteoBlasts, leading to bone loss. Stopping Smoking would be best, but Forteo can help.
Not everyone needs an Anabolic, but some individuals do. A Complete Bone Health Evaluation will tell you if an Anabolic is right for you.
More about Forteo (Teriparatide) next time.
Jay Ginther, MD