Bisphosphonate associated hip fractures quickly healed with either Strontium or Parathyroid Hormone

July 22, 2011

Unusual hip fractures are reported in women taking bisphosphonates but this is a rare event and controversially they seem related to the use of the drugs. Brazilian physicians at the Pernambuco School of Medicine report on treatment of three of these women. All three suffered with subtrochanteric hip fractures running down the shaft of the bone. Subtrochanteric hip fractures actually involve fracturing the shaft of the femur immediately below the lesser trochanter and may extend down the shaft of the femur and these fractures are rare. The bone fractures were not due to any major trauma and the women were on the bisphosphonate drugs long-term to treat their osteoporosis. All of the major features of atypical (unusual) hip fractures highlighted in the Task Force Report of the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research were present in all three cases.

The women had unconsolidated fractures for approximately one year before being referred to the center. The women were treated with Teriparatide (recombinant parathyroid hormone) or Strontium. In the two women treated with Strontium had total closure of the fracture within three months. Parathyroid hormone closed the fracture in one month in the woman treated with it. The report is published online in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism.