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Treating Osteoporosis

What Can I do for Osteoporosis of the Spine?

Although osteoporosis of the spine cannot be reversed, it can be managed. Less severe cases can be managed through the following at home treatments:

At Home Treatments for Osteoporosis of the Spine
  • Diet Modifications– Adding calcium and vitamin D to your diet can help strengthen bones affected by osteoporosis. Aim for at least 1,000 – 1,200 milligrams of calcium and 600 – 800 IU of vitamin D daily. It is best to get these nutrients through the foods you eat, but if you are considering taking a supplement, speak with your doctor first.
  • Exercise – Regularly performing weight-bearing exercises at least 3 times per week for 30 to 45 minutes can help your bone density. Walking, running, stair climbing, and weight lifting are excellent options.
  • Quit Smoking– Smoking affects bone mineral density. If you have developed osteoporosis of the spine and still smoke, quitting can help prevent the condition from worsening.

What If I Need Additional Treatment for Osteoporosis of the Spine?

While surgical treatments are not used to treat osteoporosis of the spine itself, it can be used to treat a fracture resulting from the condition. Houston Physicians’ Hospital offers the following surgical treatments for fractures resulting from osteoporosis:

  • Kyphoplasty
  • Lumbar fusion

The goals of these procedures are to stop pain caused by a spinal fracture. Additionally, these treatments help stabilize the bone and restore some or all of the lost vertebral body height due to an osteoporosis-induced fracture.

How Do I Recover from Osteoporosis of the Spine?

Those who have undergone surgery for a fracture associated with osteoporosis should not drive until approved by their Houston Physicians’ Hospital physician. Arrange for transportation until you are given approval to operate a vehicle. Pain relief may be immediate for some patients following surgery. However, if pain relief is not immediate, patients typically begin to notice a reduction in pain within two days. Once released from Houston Physicians’ Hospital, patients can typically return to their normal daily routine. Strenuous activity, such as heavy lifting, should be avoided for a minimum of six weeks, though. Your Houston Physicians’ Hospital physician will work with you to begin or review your treatment plan for fractures resulting from osteoporosis, including postoperative medications that can prevent further bone loss.