If you've ever had a broken bone, you know that there are several ways to repair the fracture. One way is to splint or cast the bone and wait for it to heal on it's own, or if the fracture is complex, surgery may be necessary where the option's for internal fixation would be, rods and screws, plates and screws, or pins and wires, and some require bone transplantation obtained usually from the hip (iliac crest) to fill the non union portion of the fracture. All of these approaches, aside from casting, involve surgery, a hospital stay of several days, physical therapy, bone graft site and surgical site healing.
When your surgeon harvests bone from your hip, an incision is made above the bone and then they extract and collect the bone with a drilling device. This approach has to heal just like the fracture repair portion and sometimes problems occur, like bone infection, delayed incision healing, and additional pain from the process of removing the necessary bone from your hip to ...
Osteoporosis is often called the “silent disease.” Its outward symptoms are hard to detect, and for many, especially those with a minor case, it’s virtually painless – unless it results in a broken bone or includes osteoarthritis. But being diagnosed with bone loss at a young age can cause personal issues, including emotional pain that’s every bit as difficult as a fractured wrist. Osteoporosis. Old ladies’ disease, right? Despite the gorgeous silver-haired, tennis-playing women in those magazine ads for Fosamax and Boniva, for most Americans osteoporosis inspires a mental image of a frail, white-haired woman, back hunched nearly double, slowly inching along with a walker. Well, it ain’t necessarily so. I was diagnosed with osteopenia at age 48. No gray hair. No grandkids. No tennis, either, but plenty of chasing around after kids, working long hours, and making regular visits to my “favorite” hangout: the gym. Thus I was shock...
Recently, the pharmaceutical company Amgen (the makers of
Enbrel ) announced that the results of a Phase 3 trial had been published which
studied the drug denosumab in postmenopausal osteoporosis.
Denosumab treatment significantly increased bone density in
the lumbar spine compared to placebo, in addition to the hip, the wrist and the
total body. In another study, the drug also seemed to protect bone from erosion
in rheumatoid arthritis patients.
Denosumab is a monoclonal antibody which targets RANK
Ligand, a cell mediator that break down bone. RANK Ligand is found in many parts of bone.
What I find interesting is that Amgen is also looking at the
effect of denosumab on bone erosions in rheumatoid arthritis in a Phase 2
study. RANK Ligand-driven osteoclast
activity — osteoclasts being those cells which erode the bones — has been
implicated in the destructive bone erosions which are characteristic of rheumatoid
arthritis and other forms of er...
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