Osteoporosis is usually treated with prescribed medications and certain lifestyle modifications. Although reconstructive surgery does not correct bone loss, it may be advised when an osteoporotic bone has fractured and requires repair.

Fracture Repair/Reduction

This procedure is done to return a broken bone to its proper alignment. There are two types:

  • Closed reduction—The bone is set without making an incision in the skin.
  • Open reduction —The surgeon cuts through the skin to access the bone and realign the broken pieces.

Description of the Procedure:

A bone can be realigned and set in place using an open or closed method. The method of treatment depends on the type of fracture and the location.

Open reduction: This method is used if the bone is fragmented or difficult to repair, requiring screws, pins, rods, or a plate to hold it in place. The doctor makes a cut in the skin covering the break to expose the bone fragments. The bone fragments are moved into their normal position, and screws, pins, rods, or plates may be used to hold the realigned bones in place. Extremely severe fractures may require placement of a natural or artificial bone graft. The doctor closes the incision with stitches, and a splint, dressings, or a cast may also be used to protect the area.

Closed reduction: The doctor manipulates the bone fragments into their normal position and applies a cast or splint to hold them in place. There is no incision.

After the procedure, the doctor can immobilize the bone using a cast, splint, or brace, and may order another x-ray to ensure the bone is in the correct position.

Most bones require about six weeks to heal, but some bones take longer. Working with your healthcare provider and physical therapist to develop a specific activity and rehabilitation program can speed your recovery and protect you from future fractures.