Fluoride Action Network


Bone fragility during fluoride therapy for osteoporosis was observed in 24 (37.5%) of 64 patients treated with sodium fluoride, calcium, and vitamin D for 2.5 years who developed episodes of lower-limb pain during treatment. Eighteen (28%) of these patients had clinical and roentgenographic features of 41 stress fractures and 12 new spinal fractures. There were 26 periarticular, six femoral neck, three pubic rami, three tibia and fibula, one greater trochanter, and two subtrochanteric fractures. Vertebral fractures appeared first, then periarticular, then femoral neck, and lastly long-bone shaft fractures. All fractures were spontaneous in onset. The peripheral fracture rate during treatment was three times that in untreated osteoporosis. Roentgenograms must be repeated at intervals of three to four weeks before the pathognomonic callus becomes visible, and the diagnosis can be made. Trabecular stress fractures tend to occur in the first 18 months of treatment, and cortical stress fractures occur after 30 months of therapy.