WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW:
- When one or more areas of a bone wear out and get thin, it is called osteolysis. Osteolysis happens most often to the bones of the hip, leg, rib, spine, and thigh. Normally, old bone cells are replaced with new bone cells over time. Osteolysis occurs when there are not enough new bone cells being made to replace old bone cells. This condition may slowly get worse over time. Osteolysis weakens bones, and may cause holes to form in them. Osteolysis can be caused by diseases, such as psoriasis and rheumatoid arthritis. It can also come after joint (hip or knee) replacement surgery.
- You may not have any signs or symptoms of osteolysis. In some cases, you may have pain, swelling, or numbness in a body area. To learn if you have osteolysis, caregivers may do tests such as x-rays. You may not need any treatment for osteolysis. If treatment is needed, you may need to take medicine or have surgery. Treatment can help decrease pain and other symptoms. In some cases, treatment can help your bones heal or prevent more bone damage.
Take your medicine as directed.
Call your primary healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.
- Pain medicine: This medicine may be used to help decrease or take away your pain.
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID) medicine may decrease swelling and pain or fever. This medicine can be bought with or without a doctor's order. This medicine can cause stomach bleeding or kidney problems in certain people. If you take blood thinner medicine, always ask your primary healthcare provider if NSAIDs are safe for you. Always read the medicine label and follow the directions on it before using this medicine.
- Steroids: This medicine may be given to decrease inflammation.
- Biphosphonates: This type of medicine may prevent osteolysis by helping new bone cells to form faster. You may be given biphosphonates if your bone loss is caused by myeloma. You may also be given this medicine if you have had total joint replacement surgery.
Ask for information about where and when to go for follow-up visits:
For continuing care, treatments, or home services, ask for more information.
- If you have had surgery to replace a damaged joint, you may need to visit your caregiver often. Your caregiver may do x-rays and other tests to check your bones and your implant. If you have not had surgery, caregivers will ask you about pain, or any new signs and symptoms of osteolysis. Ask your caregiver when you can return to work, school, sports, and other activities.
If you had surgery, ask your caregiver when to return to have your wound checked. Ask your caregiver how to care for your wound and when to change the bandages.
Decreasing the risk of osteolysis getting worse or causing fractures:
- Take vitamin D if it is suggested by your caregiver. If your osteolysis is caused by cancer, you may need to take vitamin D supplements (pills). Vitamin D may help prevent bones from getting weaker. Ask your caregiver for more information about vitamins or minerals that are right for you.
- Ask caregivers for information about a healthy diet. Ask them if you need to change your diet to get the vitamins and minerals that your body needs. Weighing too much can increase pressure in your joints, and increase your risk of getting osteolysis. Talk to your caregiver about the best weight for you.
- Do the right amount and kind of exercise. With osteolysis, you may need to avoid contact sports, such as football. Playing contact sports increases the chance of breaking bones. Ask caregivers about exercise and sports that should be avoided. If you have had joint replacement surgery, talk to caregivers about the right exercise plan for you. Avoid high impact exercise, such as running, after having total hip replacement surgery.
CONTACT A CAREGIVER IF:
- You feel pain in your chest, back, hips, groin, knees or legs with sudden movement or while resting.
- You have a fever (high body temperature).
- You have had surgery, and are bleeding from your wound.
- You get a new skin rash after starting to use a new kind of medicine.
- You have questions or concerns about osteolysis or your treatment.
SEEK CARE IMMEDIATELY IF:
- You have severe (very bad) joint pain, which does not decrease or go away after using pain medicine.
© 2013 Truven Health Analytics Inc. Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes. All illustrations and images included in CareNotes® are the copyrighted property of the Blausen Databases or Truven Health Analytics.
The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.
Learn more about Osteolysis (Aftercare Instructions)
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