- Acute Treatment: When a fragility fracture occurs, the immediate goal is to provide appropriate medical care and stabilize the fracture. This may involve immobilization with casts, splints, or braces, or in some cases, surgical intervention such as internal fixation with plates, screws, or rods.
- Pain Management: Fragility fractures can be quite painful, and effective pain management is essential. It may involve the use of analgesic medications, such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) or opioids, as prescribed by a healthcare professional.
- Rehabilitation and Physical Therapy: Following the initial treatment, a rehabilitation program is typically initiated to aid in the healing process and restore function. Physical therapy exercises can help improve range of motion, strength, and balance, reducing the risk of future falls and fractures.
- Assessment for Underlying Causes: Fragility fractures often indicate underlying bone health issues, most commonly osteoporosis. It is important to evaluate the patient’s bone health status to identify the underlying cause and determine appropriate management strategies. This may involve bone density testing, blood tests, and evaluation for secondary causes of osteoporosis.
- Pharmacological Interventions: In cases where osteoporosis or low bone density is identified, pharmacological interventions may be recommended to reduce the risk of future fractures. Medications such as bisphosphonates, selective estrogen receptor modulators (SERMs), denosumab, or teriparatide can help improve bone density and reduce fracture risk. The choice of medication depends on individual patient factors and should be discussed with a healthcare professional.
- Lifestyle Modifications: Adopting a healthy lifestyle can contribute to better bone health and reduce the risk of future fractures. This may include ensuring an adequate intake of calcium and vitamin D through diet or supplements, engaging in weight-bearing exercises, quitting smoking, and minimizing alcohol consumption.
- Fall Prevention: Fragility fractures often occur due to falls, so implementing fall prevention strategies is crucial. This may involve removing hazards at home, installing handrails and grab bars, improving lighting, using assistive devices, and addressing any balance or gait issues through physical therapy.
- Multidisciplinary Approach: The management of fragility fractures is best achieved through a multidisciplinary approach involving orthopedic surgeons, primary care physicians, endocrinologists, rheumatologists, physical therapists, and other healthcare professionals. Collaboration among these specialists helps ensure comprehensive care and long-term management.
Facing Fragility Fractures? Read below to find out more on what you can do.
Fragility fractures are fractures that occur as a result of minimal trauma or stress on weakened bones. They are commonly associated with osteoporosis, a condition characterized by decreased bone density and strength. The management of fragility fractures involves both acute treatment and long-term strategies to prevent future fractures. Here are some key aspects of fragility fracture management:
It is important to consult with healthcare professionals for personalized advice and guidance regarding fragility fracture management, as individual circumstances may vary.
Embrace a pain-free future. Schedule your personalised consultation with our doctor now!
Dr Ananda Vella
Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon
MBBS (Singapore), MRCS (Edin), MMed (Ortho), FRCSEd (Orthopaedics & Trauma)