What are the causes of frequent broken bones?

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A frequent bone fracture can be caused by certain diseases like osteoporosis, chronic steroid use, infections, and tumours. Out of all, osteoporosis is the main cause of frequent bone fracture. Osteoporosis is a medical condition where your bones are brittle and fragile due to decreasing bone mass. Those with osteoporosis are at higher risk of suffering a fracture. Low energy trauma is enough to cause a fracture and this does not happen to normal people. Osteoporosis screening is important to prevent such fracture from happening. Broken bones treatment is available in all hospitals and most clinics in Malaysia.

 Fractures that happened to patients with osteoporosis are also known as fragility fractures. Fragility fractures are fractures that happened as a result of fall from standing height or with no physical injury. Fragility fractures frequently affect the backbones or spine, hip bone, bones of the wrist, ribs, pelvis, and bone of the arm or humerus. Skull, feet, and ankles fracture are not considered as fragility fractures.

Around 9 million osteoporotic patients suffer from bone fractures worldwide in the year 2000. Data shows that up to 600 per 100,000 women suffer from a hip fracture due to osteoporosis and up to 1400 per 100,000 women suffer from spine fracture annually worldwide. Scandinavians are a group of people who are most likely to develop hip fractures.

History taking, physical examination, and measurement of bone mineral density are important in screening for patients who have a risk to develop fragility fracture. The risk factors of fragility fractures are:

  • Low bone mineral density
  • Increasing age
  • Previous fracture
  • Family history of hip fracture
  • On long-term corticosteroids therapy
  • Low body weight
  • High intake of alcohol
  • Cigarette smoking
  • Hispanic adults
  • Black population
  • Asian people

Low in estrogen or advance in age are the reason why postmenopausal women develop osteoporosis. Things that need to be done to confirm a diagnosis of osteoporosis is:

  • History taking
  • Physical examination
  • Blood calcium level
  • Blood phosphorus level
  • Blood albumin level
  • Total protein
  • Creatinine level
  • Electrolytes analysis
  • Liver enzymes analysis
  • The level of 25-hydroxyvitamin D
  • Full blood count
  • Dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry scan (DEXA scan)

Aging and low sex hormones levels (Primary causes) are the two issues in menopause that cause a person to develop osteoporosis. The secondary causes of osteoporosis are:

  • Kidney disease
  • Liver disease
  • Cushing’s syndrome
  • Hyperthyroidism
  • Hyperparathyroidism
  • Early menopause
  • Hypercortisolism
  • Celiac disease or other diseases that cause malabsorption
  • Connective tissue disorders
  • Idiopathic hypercalciuria

Secondary causes of osteoporosis have different treatment modalities. Treating the underlying causes is the key. Other investigations that can be done are:

  • Test for celiac disease
  • 24-hour urine for calcium and creatinine level
  • Serum and urine protein measurement and electrophoresis
  • Parathyroid hormone level
  • Cortisol level in urine
  • Bone turnover markers

Lifestyle changes must be done by osteoporotic patients. The changes are:

  • Vitamin D and calcium consumption via diet
  • Stop smoking
  • Exercise
  • Fall prevention measures
  • Stop alcohol intake
  • Avoid medications that cause bone loss

  The examples of treatments for osteoporosis are:

  • Bisphosphonates
  • Calcium and vitamin D supplements
  • Androgens (Men)
  • Selective estrogen receptor modulators
  • Estrogen and progesterone therapy
  • Other additional treatments

Broken bones treatment can help you recover and subsequent effective long-term treatment plans will help to prevent future episodes. Please come and get treatment from a certified doctor. Do not self-treat your illness. 

 

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