Geriatrician Questions Osteoporosis

What's the treatment for osteoporosis?

My grandmother wasn't experiencing osteoporosis until she fell and had a bone fracture. The doctor only told us that she should change her diet and take vitamins and supplements. What other treatments should she have?

4 Answers

Have her get a DEXA scan to assess her osteoporosis. Vitamin d +calcium is common first line. A dexa scan will guide her treatment regiment though
There are many medications that treat osteoporosis. There is not actually not that much data showing extra calcium or vitamin D changes the results from a dexa scan unless there is a deficiency. Weight bearing exercises definitely are important for treatment. Bisphosphonates (such as fosamax and boniva) and rank-ligand inhibitors ( prolia) have good data for the treatment of osteoporosis. Depending on risk for falls and fractures will affect how aggressive treatment should be.
There are several options. I recommend you have your grandmother see her primary care physician to discuss options.

To Our Health and Success,

Kathleen E. Sharp, MD
She needs a DEXA scan to determine the degree of osteoporosis in her hips & spine. She needs daily supplemental vitamin D. There are multiple medications available to help treat her osteoporosis. She may need to see an endocrinologist for aggressive treatment.