Case Study:
Complete the
Osteoporosis Case Study activity. You should take notes as you go through the
activity so you can answer the following questions based on the information you
learn in the activity.
1. Draw a picture of what you think
Margaret’s fracture looks like.
2. The radiologist reported signs of
osteoporosis. Describe the characteristics of an osteoporotic femur as seen on
an X-ray. (How does it differ in appearance from a normal femur?)
3. Describe the microscopic features
of osseous tissue that normally help long bones withstand lateral stress
without breaking.
4. Describe the microscopic features
of osseous tissue that normally help long bones withstand compressive stress
without breaking.
Surgeons performed an open reduction of Margaret’s
fracture, immobilizing the bones with internal pins.
5. Describe the changes that a
broken bone undergoes as it is healing.
6. During her long recovery,
Margaret is advised by her physician to begin weight-bearing as soon as she
can. How does weight-bearing influence the process you described in question #5?
(Be specific in your answer and describe what weight-bearing does to bone at
the microscopic level.)
7. Aside from any effect on the
healing process, why else might Margaret’s physician want her to avoid a
prolonged period of bed-ridden inactivity?
8. What parts of the skeleton (i.e.
what bones) are most vulnerable to the ravages of osteoporosis?
9. Following her recovery, Margaret
was placed on three medications: (A) oral calcium supplement, (B) oral estrogen,
and (C) oral alendronate sodium (Fosamax). Specifically describe how each of
these medications work to treat Margaret’s condition.
treatments for osteoporosis include (A) sodium fluoride and (B) calcitonin.
Describe how each of these medications works to treat osteoporosis.

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