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The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery British Volume
Vol. 71-B, Issue 1 | Pages 111 - 117
1 Jan 1989
Mackie I Ralis Z Leyshon R Lane J Watkins G Berry P

Twenty-three of 46 patients, aged 56 to 95 years, with fracture of the femoral neck (FNF) completed the first trial of 10 months treatment with oral sodium fluoride 60 mg and calcium 1800 mg on alternate days and 1 micrograms of vitamin D1 daily. Pre-treatment and post-treatment biopsy specimens and microradiographs of the iliac crest and metacarpal and spinal radiographs were evaluated together with biopsy material from seven untreated age-matched controls with FNF. In 17 patients the treatment improved the amount and quality of trabecular bone. Cortical thickness increased in nine patients and there were no losses of amount or mineralisation. The treatment was well tolerated by most patients and there were no major side-effects or signs of bone demineralisation. The study also revealed an unexpected rapid post-fracture deterioration of bone tissue in untreated FNF patients; thus there is an increased risk of further fractures which calls for the use of an effective treatment to increase bone mass.