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Why Hip Replacement Recovery Needs Bone Building Minerals And Vitamins

Hip replacement recovery can be encouraged with bone building minerals and vitamins. Medication alone is not enough to prevent osteoporosis.

People who have had a hip replaced may suffer from a condition called heterotopic ossification. Heterotopic ossification is a process by which bone tissue forms outside of the skeleton-often as a result of an injury or a neurological condition.

Heterotopic ossification following a total hip replacement may appear in a radiograph 3 to 8 weeks after a hip operation-in the pericapsular area of the affected hip joint. This occurs in approximately 50% of all cases and about one-third of these cases are clinically significant.

Both Canada and the U.S. have approved the drug Didronel® for treatment of heterotopic ossification. Didronel, which is produced by Proctor and Gamble (Didrocal® if supplemented with calcium carbonate) is also known as Etidronate in its generic form. Didronel therapy should begin as soon as medically feasible following surgery- preferably prior to evidence of heterotopic ossification. Retreatment has not been studied.


In 2007, Proctor and Gamble recommended the following treatment regime for heterotopic ossification following a total hip replacement:

  • 20 mg/kg/day for 1 month before and 3 months after surgery (4 months total).

Didronel is taken by mouth on an empty stomach two hours before meals. To maximize absorption, patients should avoid taking the following items within two hours of taking the medication:

  • Food- especially food high in calcium, such as milk or milk products.
  • Vitamins with mineral supplements or antacids which are high in calcium, iron, magnesium, or aluminum.

If stomach upset occurs, it may be relieved somewhat by taking divided doses during the day instead of one daily dose.


In addition to any medication that is taken, it is important that hip replacement patients receive the recommended levels of bone building minerals and vitamins in their diet and supplements. This is especially true for people who are taking bisphosphonate medications such as Didronel.

Once patients have recovered sufficiently from their surgery, it is also important to resume an appropriate level of exercise under the direction of a doctor or physiotherapist. Reliance on medication alone is discouraged as an osteoporosis prevention strategy. A year's supply of Puritan's Pride Bone Care will provide the recommended levels of calcium, vitamin D, magnesium and vitamin K needed for hip replacement recovery... for less than $30 a year.

To learn about the calcium and vitamins that assist with hip replacement recovery... visit Best Calcium.