Fragility fracture care
- Q: Talk about some of the risk factors when it comes to bone fragility and susceptibility to fracturing a bone.
- Leslie Barnes Remski, M.D.: As we get older, our bones get weaker. So, part of the prevention of fractures is strengthen your bones, which can be done with weight bearing exercise including walking or light weight lifting. Activities such as fall prevention, looking around your home to limit the ways that people can fall and injure themselves as you get older, are very helpful.
- Q: Talk about how different fragility fractures are treated based on what part of the body is impacted.
- Leslie Barnes Remski, M.D.: Depending on where you have your fragility fracture, your treatment might be different. In the upper extremity fragility fractures often happen around the wrist or the shoulder. In older patients, we often treat these without surgery. In the lower extremity (the hip is the most common injury), these are almost exclusively treated with surgery because the goal is to get the patient moving and walking so that you avoid all the other complications that can happen from being in bed too long such as blood clots, bedsores and pneumonia.
- Q: What are some of the things patients should expect post-operatively when it comes to fragility fractures?
- Leslie Barnes Remski, M.D.: What a patient can expect after fragility fracture is a time period where your activity is more limited. If you had a surgery for a fracture for example, you will often go through physical therapy to regain your strength and almost surpass the strength that you had previously so that you can prevent falls in the future. With the upper extremity, you're often immobilized in some way to stabilize the fracture until it's healed and then again, we often refer you to physical therapy so you can regain your strengths and functionality.
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