Did Osteoporosis Cause Your Fracture?
Awareness means you have the opportunity to protect your bones—and preserve your ability to keep up with work, play, family and friends!
Finding out osteoporosis caused your fracture may come as a shock. But once the dust clears, you can focus on the silver lining: Now that you know you have the disease, you can do something about it! Just ask yourself:
Would I rather be...
Active like Annette, who works closely with her healthcare team and follows her treatment plan? “I am able to participate fully in my daily activities and have not had restrictions to my lifestyle because of the osteoporosis. Since that day in 2001 when I was first diagnosed with it, I have made the choice to stand up to osteoporosis rather than give in to the condition. I have done so with no regrets.”
Or on the sidelines like Bonnie, who failed to protect herself? “Living with osteoporosis means not being able to run around with my grandchildren—I’m the person sitting on the beach minding the shoes instead of exploring the rock pools. That hurts.”
Take action, stay active!
Chances are, you’d rather follow in Annette’s footsteps. That means being proactive about your osteoporosis by taking these measures:
- Partner with your healthcare provider. Don’t skip checkups, be frank in your discussions and follow your treatment plan.
- Get follow-up bone mineral density tests. This is one way for your healthcare team to determine how well your current treatment is working. You may need to switch to a medication that can better help reduce your risk for future fractures.
- Make bone-healthy choices a way of life. That includes getting enough calcium and vitamin D, making weight-bearing exercise a part of your routine and quitting habits that can sap your bone strength, such as smoking and excessive alcohol consumption. You’ll learn more in the pages ahead.
Know your treatment options
Depending on the results of your bone mineral density test, your doctor may recommend that you start a medication. Today’s treatments can help you maintain, strengthen and build bone mass—some can even help reverse bone loss! Here is how they work:
- Bisphosphonates. These drugs slow or stop the breakdown of bone tissue, resulting in increased bone density and a reduced fracture risk. Bisphosphonates can be taken orally daily, weekly or monthly; some are given by infusion (IV) once a year.
- Denosumab. By slowing bone loss, this drug increases bone density and reduces the risk of fracture in the spine, hip and other areas. It’s given by injection every six months.
- Parathyroid hormone. This hormone rebuilds bone and increases bone density, especially in the spine. It’s given by daily self-injection (for no more than two years over your lifetime).
- Selective estrogen receptor modulators (SERMS). These drugs, taken orally, act like estrogen to slow bone loss.
Find the osteoporosis treatment that’s right for you
Which option is your perfect fit? Your doctor will weigh several factors, including your age, gender and menopausal status. As someone who’s already had a fracture, you may require different meds than someone who hasn’t. How you prefer to take it is another consideration. Would you rather take it daily, weekly, or just once or twice a year? Pill? Liquid? IV infusion? Injection?
And of course, medications have various side effects to consider. Working closely with your healthcare provider is the best strategy. And if one osteoporosis medication doesn’t work for you, there are others to try, so don’t be discouraged.