Products
Pre-Nursing
Nursing Student
NCLEX Prep
New Grad

Nursing Care Plan for Osteoporosis

This lesson is part of the NURSING.com Nursing Student Academy. Start a trial to view the entire video.
Print

Pathophysiology

Bone is a living tissue that is constantly breaking down and being replaced. Osteoporosis happens when the growth of new bone does not keep up with the breaking down of old bone. This makes the bones very brittle and fragile. Primary osteoporosis is a result of the normal aging process, while secondary osteoporosis is a result of another disease process.  

Etiology

Bone regeneration normally takes place much faster than the deterioration process and the bones grow in mass reaching a peak in a person’s 20s. As people age, the breaking down process becomes faster than the regeneration process. The amount of bone mass at the peak can partly determine the likelihood of developing osteoporosis. There are many risk factors. It is most common in older women, due to a decrease in estrogen, as well as people taking corticosteroids or with a decreased dietary intake of calcium.

Desired Outcome

The goal of treatment is to address the underlying causes and prevent fractures.

Osteoporosis Nursing Care Plan

Subjective Data:

  • Bone Pain

There are typically no symptoms in the early stages of bone loss

Objective Data:

  • Loss of height over time
  • Stooped posture
    • Kyphosis of the spine
  • Bone fractures, especially hip/pelvis
  • Pathologic fractures
    • Occur without trauma

Nursing Interventions and Rationales

  • Assess and manage pain
  Patients often complain of back pain as the vertebra collapse or pain from a fracture. Pain control is essential for the patient to participate in rehab.  
  • Initiate fall precautions to prevent injury
  Falls and injuries are more difficult to heal with osteoporosis as the bone takes longer to regenerate. Provide assistance with ambulation, remove rugs or fall hazards and maintain a clear and well-lit path.  
  • Support fracture stabilization
  If patient is in cast or splint, make sure the device fits properly and assess for skin integrity and circulation.  
  • Administer medications appropriately
    • Bisphosphonates (alendronate, ibandronate)
    • Hormone therapy
    • Biologic drugs (denosumab)
  Medications to slow bone loss may be given as an oral medication daily, weekly or monthly. Some medications require weekly, monthly or quarterly injections.  
  • Monitor respiratory status and signs of fat embolism
  Fat embolism is a complication of fractures and can lead to respiratory insufficiency.  
  • Assist with repositioning
  Pain and injury make positioning difficult for some patients. Assist in repositioning every 2 hours as needed to prevent skin breakdown and assist with mobility.  
  • Assist with ROM activities
  Immobility can cause atrophy of muscles. Assist as necessary with ROM activities to prevent injury.  
  • Consult physical and occupational therapy as appropriate
  Consult with PT/OT for evaluation and rehab to maintain functionality and mobility.  
  • Nutrition and lifestyle education
    • A healthy diet, increase calcium intake
    • Exercise as tolerable in a safe environment
    • Quit smoking
    • Limit or avoid alcohol
 

  • A healthy diet high in calcium and vitamin D can help prevent skin breakdown and exercise promotes circulation and healing.
  • Weight-bearing exercises can improve the strength of muscles around weak bones/joints as well as increase bone density to reduce the risk of fractures.
  • Smoking increases the rate of bone loss.
  • Limit alcohol to two drinks per day as it can decrease bone formation and increase the risk of falls.

 


References

Create Your Account

Get unlimited access to lessons and study tools

  • Question 1 of 4

A 70-year-old client has been diagnosed with osteoporosis after suffering an arm fracture when bumping into a counter. The client’s husband asks the nurse why his wife’s arm was broken so easily. Which of the following statements are correct about osteoporosis? Select all that apply.

  • Question 2 of 4

A 55-year-old woman has been prescribed ibandronate sodium (Boniva) for the prevention of osteoporosis. The nurse is giving the client her prescription and should include which of the following information about taking this drug?

  • Question 3 of 4

A home care nurse is working with a client who has osteoporosis. Which guideline for home safety would be most appropriate in preventing fractures in this client?

  • Question 4 of 4

A client with osteoporosis asks the nurse why it is important to take vitamin D. Which response by the nurse is correct?

Module 0 – Nursing Care Plans Course Introduction
Module Obstetrics (OB) & Pediatrics (Peds) Care Plans

Customize Your Study

Start a trial to create your first custom study plan now.


Start Trial
[FREE]
[FREE]