Foot Fracture Fears: Help – I’m Too Young to Have Osteoporosis!
Posted by Jenn F. on Tuesday, December 24th, 2013
Dr. Pamela Tronetti penned a great column at FloridaToday.com about receiving an osteoporosis diagnosis. “The test must have been done on someone else…. Osteoporosis happens to old ladies. Not to me. I’m only 55,” she thought.
Many patients believe that they are far “too young” to have compromised bone density and fail to think of bone as a living structure that is under a constant state of renewal. At some point, the regeneration slows, causing the bone to weaken, for reasons that are many. Risk factors include: delicate bone structure, smoking, drinking, rheumatoid arthritis, steroid use, lack of exercise, calcium deficiency, vitamin D deficiency, and the use of acid reflux medication.
Try not to panic if you’ve received a shocking diagnosis like Dr. Tronetti. We have solutions for avoiding stress fractures of the feet and keeping your symptoms at bay.
Should You Take Medication for Osteoporosis of the Feet?
The first step for most osteoporosis sufferers is to ramp up vitamin D supplementation. Some osteoporosis patients are put on as much as 5,000 units per day. Calcium intake should be ramped up to 1,200 mg per day.
After covering the basics, the topic of prescription medication may come up. Dr. Tronetti was offered:
– Miacalcin: A nasal spray that could reduce the risk of vertebral fracture by 30-40%, but also carries a 1.54 times greater risk of cancer.
– Evista: A selective estrogen receptor modulator that reduces fracture risk by 50% and decreases breast cancer risk in high-risk populations, but also carries the risk of blood clots and stroke.
– Biphosphonates: An antiresorptive class of drug that slows the breakdown of bone, but carries side effects like stomach upset, acid reflux, muscle aches, and bone pain.
– Reclast: This type of biophosphonate is administered via IV infusion once a year and carries mild flu-like side effects for a few days afterward.
What Type of Exercise Is Okay?
Physical activity is recommended for osteoporosis patients, but should be cleared by a physician or physical therapist first. According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, it’s good to participate in flexibility exercises to maintain range of motion, weight-bearing aerobic activities to minimize bone mineral loss, upper back strength training to build up muscle and bone, and stability exercises to limit the risk of crippling falls.
You want to avoid high-impact sports like jumping rope, running, team sports, and anything that involves fast, jerking motions. Stretches that cause excessive bending at the waist — like touching your toes — can lead to spinal compression fractures.
Avoiding Foot Fractures When You Have Osteoporosis
The Corsair warns that foot fractures are very common among people with osteoporosis. The bone-thinning disease accounts for 1.5 million bone fractures a year, affecting 28 million Americans, says the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons. Often it is not until a fracture occurs that people realize they have been affected by osteoporosis. Custom orthotics can be a way to protect the foot from pressure, especially during exercise, they say. The Sentinel newspaper of Central Pennsylvania also recommends a gradual increase in activity when working out and wearing shock-reducing, supportive, flexible shoes to prevent stress fractures of the foot.
If you’re worried about the possibility of a foot fracture, make an appointment with your podiatrist to discuss your options today!
If you have any foot problems or pain, contact The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports Medicine. Dr. Josef J. Geldwert, Dr. Katherine Lai, Dr. Ryan Minara and Dr. Mariola Rivera have helped thousands of people get back on their feet. Unfortunately, we cannot give diagnoses or treatment advice online. Please make an appointment to see us if you live in the NY metropolitan area or seek out a podiatrist in your area.