Internal fixation of osteoporotic bone

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Copyright 2018 by the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. Osteoporosis is one of the costliest conditions managed by orthopaedic surgeons. This condition, which is characterized by decreased bone density and thinning of cortical bone, is strongly influenced by complex signaling in both the hormonal and mechanical environments. Osteoporosis cannot be cured; instead, it can only be managed to decrease patient morbidity. Current pharmacologic treatments are aimed at minimizing bone turnover and have substantial side effects. Therefore, much work remains to find safer and more effective agents to restore bone density. In addition to the high incidence of fracture in elderly patients, many of the traditional fixation constructs used for repair of these fractures are not suitable for use in osteoporotic bone. Increased use of fixed-angle locking plates, intramedullary devices, and bone substitutes has greatly improved outcomes in these patients.

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