What are the goals of rehabilitation in osteoporotic fracture?

Updated: Sep 26, 2019
  • Author: Monique Bethel, MD; Chief Editor: Herbert S Diamond, MD  more...
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In patients who have experienced an osteoporotic fracture, the first goal of rehabilitation is to control pain. Spinal compression fractures can be extremely painful and can cause short- and long-term morbidity. Oral analgesics on a regular schedule can be implemented. Pain-relieving modalities such as moist hot packs and transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation should also be considered. During this period, monitoring the patient carefully for signs of constipation, urinary retention, and respiratory depression, which can occur with the use of narcotic analgesics, is essential.

A comfortable mechanical support for the spine and, in some cases, a thoracic orthosis may need to be prescribed. The primary reason for the application of a thoracic orthosis is to limit motion in the spine. The length of time a patient should wear a rigid spinal orthosis is undetermined. What is well known is that immobilization contributes to bone demineralization. During the early mobilization period, deep breathing exercises, pectoral and intercostal muscle strengthening, and back conservation techniques need to be implemented.

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