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Osteoporosis - Treatment

Non-operative treatment

Non-operative treatment aims at slowing and preventing the progression of osteoporosis by changing the metabolism of bone. A healthy diet and healthy lifestyle with exercise are important steps in treatment. Prevention of falls, “protective” devices such as walking sticks or crutches may be helpful for older people.

There are specific medications that inhibit or slow the further loss of bone mass (bisphosphonates, hormones, and others) and encourage new formation of bone. In general, taking calcium for the improvement of the bone quality can take months and years. This treatment should therefore be continued for a long period and patients should be followed on a regular basis. Calcium and Vitamin D are important in the medical treatment of osteoporosis. But, avoiding risks and maintaining a healthy balanced lifestyle are the most important factors.

Surgical treatment

It is estimated that less than 10% of all osteoporotic spinal fractures need surgery.
The main goals of surgical treatment can be summarized in the following points:
1. Pain relief
2. Stabilization of the fractured vertebra
3. Reduction of any deformity
4. Removing any pressure on the spinal cord
5. Straightening of the spine

Stabilisation and pain relief can be treated with Kyphoplasty or Vertebroplasty which means placing a type of bone ‘’cement’’ inside the bone. If there is deformity of the spine, sometimes this can be repaired by larger surgical procedures using spinal instrumentation.
The Patient Line website offers information for patients with spinal conditions:
Sciatica, back pain, spinal stenosis, disc herniation, scoliosis and many other spine conditions explained in a clear reliable, and trustworthy way. Not for profit EUROSPINE experts are here to help patients and their families understand what may be worrying them.

EUROSPINE is a society of spine specialists of various disciplines with a large knowledge of spine pathologies. All well-known and accepted treatment modalities for spine pathologies are represented by the members of the society. However, the Society cannot accept any responsibility for the use of the information provided; the user and their health care professionals must retain responsibility for their health care management.
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page last updated on 06.03.2019