One of the primary effects of osteoporosis is an increased risk of fractures. If you have been diagnosed with a fracture, you may be surprised to find that, unlike with other types of bone breaks, your doctor probably won't put you in a cast. Instead, he or she may recommend one or more of the following treatments.

Rest and Physical Therapy

If the fracture is rather minor, your doctor may recommend just taking some time off from physically demanding activities and working with a physical therapist. The physical therapist will show you exercises that strengthen certain muscles, which takes more strain off the area where the fracture is located. You may have to visit the physical therapist a few times per week, at first, but after a few weeks, you can probably drop down to having an appointment once a week or so. If you have trouble getting to and from the physical therapist, your doctor may recommend a mobile physical therapist who can travel to your home.

Surgical Repair

If the fracture is in a large joint, such as in your hip, the healing process may take a very long time, if you leave the bone to heal on its own. For this reason, your doctor may recommend surgical repair of your broken joint. Sometimes, they may insert a screw to hold the bone in place. Other times, they may replace the joint in question. One advantage of having the joint replaced is that you then cannot break it again in the future! Replacement joints are a whole lot stronger than bone. Though the idea of having a hip or knee replaced may seem intimidating, most people find it easier to recover from a hip replacement than from a break that is not repaired surgically.

Nutrition Therapy

Your fracture may be due, in part, to a lack of certain nutrients in your diet. Your doctor may recommend a few sessions with a nutritionist to ensure you are getting enough calcium, phosphorus, and protein to heal your fractures—and also to prevent further fractures. Your nutritionist may also recommend some supplements, especially if you have to eat a restricted diet due to other health conditions like diabetes or heart disease. Nutritional therapy is usually combined with one of the other treatments discussed in this article.

If you develop a fracture due to osteoporosis, your doctor will work with you to create a specialized treatment plan to suit your needs and may recommend one or more of the above osteoporotic fracture treatments.