Header for Osteoporosis Digest

Hip Fracture Recovery Is Faster The Better Your Condition Before It Happened

Hip fracture recovery requires time and patience and it can be supported by calcium and vitamin supplements. But which vitamins are the most important?

Surgery is almost always the best hip fracture treatment. Generally, the better your health and mobility before your hip fracture, the better your chances for a complete recovery.

Doctors typically use nonsurgical alternatives, such as traction, only if you have a serious illness that makes surgery too risky.

The type of surgery you have generally depends on the part of the hip that is fractured, the severity of the fracture and your age.

FEMORAL NECK FRACTURES

The femur is the long bone that extends from the pelvis to the knee and the femoral neck is located in the upper portion of the femur, which is the ball part of the ball-and-socket joint.

There are three methods for repairing a femoral neck fracture:

  • Metal screws. If the bone is still properly aligned after the break, the doctor may insert metal screws into the bone to hold it together while the fracture heals. This is called internal fixation.
  • Replacement of part of the femur. If the ends of the broken bone aren't properly aligned or have been damaged, your doctor may remove the head and neck of the femur and replace them with a metal prosthesis. This is known as hemiarthroplasty.
  • Total hip replacement. Total hip replacement may be a good option if arthritis or a prior injury has damaged your join and affected its function prior to the fracture. This procedure involves replacing your upper femur and the socket in your pelvic bone with prosthesis.

Older patients are more likely to receive a prosthesis as it is important for them to resume their activities quickly to prevent complications. They are also less likely to outlive their prosthesis and require additional surgery.

INTERTROCHANTERIC REGION FRACTURES

The intertrochanteric region is the portion of the upper femur that juts outward. To repair this type of fracture, your doctor usually inserts a hip compression screw across the fracture. The screw is attached to a plate that runs down the femur and is attached with other screws to help keep the bone stable. As the bone heals, the screw allows the bone pieces to compress, so the edges grow together.

Hip fracture recovery generally requires a hospital stay of less than a week after surgery followed by guidance from a physiotherapist. Extended care facility stays are only required for those who can't bear weight on their hip after surgery and don't have assistance at home.

MEDICATION

While surgery is the primary treatment for a hip fracture, the intravenous medication zoledronic acid (Reclast/Aclasta, Zometa) may be prescribed as part of a hip fracture recovery program. Zoledronic acid is provided through a 5 mg infusion once a year given intravenously over no less than 15 minutes. (When used to prevent osteoporosis in postmenopausal women, a 5 mg infusion is given once every 2 years.) It is recommended that patients also receive 1500 mg elemental calcium and 800 IU vitamin D daily- particularly during the 2 weeks after dosing.

Health Canada warns that the use of Aclasta is not recommended in patients with severe impairment in kidney function.

For less than $30 a year, Puritan's Pride Bone Care provides the calcium, vitamin D, magnesium and vitamin K needed for an osteoporosis treatment and prevention program.

To learn more about calcium and vitamins that help hip fracture recovery... visit Best Calcium.