Fosamax femur fracture risk outlined in new study

Austin Kirk

By Austin Kirk
Posted June 6, 2008


New research suggests that use of Fosamax may increase the risk of a rare type of low-energy femur fracture. Prolonged use of the osteoporosis drug may overly suppress bone metabolism, impacting the ability of the bone to repair microdamage to the femur.

>>INFORMATION: Lawsuits over a Fosamax Femur Fracture

The study is published in the May/June 2008 issue of the Journal of Orthopedic Trauma. Researchers performed a retrospective review of 70 low-energy femur fractures which resulted in emergency room treatment between January 2002 and March 2007. The fractures reviewed in the observational study involved injuries typically caused by the impacts of falls from a standing height or less.

Researchers identified a fracture pattern that was 98% specific to users of Fosamax, and the average duration of Fosamax use was longer among those who had the pattern than those who did not. Out of the 70 low-energy femur fractures reviewed, 25 involved users of Fosamax and 76% of the Fosamax femur fractures involved the distinct characteristics identified in the fracture pattern.

While Fosamax is prescribed to treat osteoporosis and reduce the risk of hip fractures and long bone fractures, the mechanism of action, which prevents bone turn-over, could make some users vulnerable to certain types of fractures. In addition to the low-energy femur fractures associated with Fosamax, users have also reported deterioration of the bone in the jaw, hip, knees and shoulders, which can cause permanently disabling injuries.

>>INFORMATION: Fosamax Side Effects


The Fosamax lawyers at Saiontz & Kirk, P.A. currently represent individuals who have been diagnosed with osteonecrosis of the jaw (ONJ), or deterioration of the jaw bone. Potential cases are also being reviewed for individuals who have experienced necrosis of the hip, knee or shoulder as well as low-energy femur fractures or broken bones on Fosamax.

If you, a friend or family member have experienced an injury which could be caused by Fosamax side effects, request a free consultation and claim evaluation.

17 Comments • Add Your Comments

  • Bonnie says:

    I was recently hospitalized with bilateral femur fractures after a tripping accident at work. I have been taking fospmax for about 5 years for osteopenia.

    Posted on December 4, 2008 at 11:12 pm

  • Francine says:

    What are the alternative meds to strenghthen bones if Fosomax is not safe long term?

    Posted on February 1, 2009 at 11:01 pm

  • Lois says:

    been on fosamax for about 7 yrs, i now have a fracture of the fumer bone, lesion on hip, and had shoulder surgery, could not be repaired, all they could do was clean it out..was very active, walked alot, i am now on a cane and Drs are still trying to figure out what has happened, well it is my body and i know what happened, FOSAMAX..

    Posted on April 11, 2009 at 10:33 am

  • Sonia says:

    May 26, 2009
    My mother recently fractured her both femurs 3 months apart…She has been on Fasomax for 11 years…3 years ago she started complaing of severe bone, muscle and joint pain.Doctors pinned it on arthritis. She also experience severe rashes on her lower front legs with severe burning sensation that kept her up for months.Doctors pinned that on poor circulation…She also experienced healing problems after knee replacement even though she is not a diabetic…I believe all these symptoms are manifesting due to her years of taking Fasomax…I refuse to have her take it now…She is till in the hospital recovering from her broken bones….I wish someone would stop these doctors from perscribing this horrible medication.

    Posted on May 26, 2009 at 11:39 pm

  • Tammy says:

    worked every day been on fosamax for 2 years suffering from a severe microtrabular fracture on central femur out of work till i dont know when with no funds and very depressed

    Posted on July 24, 2009 at 8:03 pm

  • Marg says:

    I have been on Fosamax for approximately 4 years and have recently been diagnosed as having femur stress fractures in both legs. I am currently off work and am told that the only way the bones will heal is to stay off my feet as much as possible. This could take as much time as 6 to 12 months. It has already taken 15 months to diagnos the problem having been to several specialist to determine what was wrong. My specialist and G.P. agree that this is due to having taken the drug Fosamax.

    Posted on September 16, 2009 at 10:09 pm

  • Molly says:

    I broke the right femur in 06 for no apparant reason and the left femur in June of 07. Two weeks later, I read an article in New York Times that described everything that had happened to me — soreness for months before the first fall – had taken Fosamax almost 10 years – continuing soreness in the other year during the next year and before breaking that femur. Now, 2 years after the first fall, the right femur has not healed. The rod is in okay but you see the gap where healing did not occur. My leg is beginning to give me much more pain.

    Posted on September 17, 2009 at 10:21 pm

  • Marcia says:

    My mother suffered a non-stress fracture of her right femur one year ago on Dec 23, after 10 yrs. of treatment with Fosamax. One year later ( 2 weeks ago) she suffered a second fracture to her other femur. She had been going to the GP for two years complaining of pain and he just kept giving her cortisone shots for the pain. She has always been healthy and very active for her 80 yrs – walking, skiing etc. This has totally changed her life. I have been taking Actenol for 8 hrs. I have stopped it.

    Posted on February 16, 2010 at 10:59 am

  • Gina says:

    I was taking Fosamax for 9+ years when in mid-December 2009 my left femur just broke in half while walking. No tumor, no cancer, not even an osteoporotic break. Have osteoporosis which is why Fosamax was prescribed 10 years ago. My nice doctor concluded break was due to years of Fosamax use. Took me off immediately and will NEVER take it again!!!
    Also, have broken several metatarsals on right foot and left kneecap after started taking Fosamax.
    Now disabled using wheelchair/walker and suffer depression a lot.
    Only go to PT 2x a week. Am always home. Terrified as to what will break next.
    Now I take heavy duty calcium/Vit D pills. I just know somewhere down the line will suffer another fracture of some kind…..
    My sympathy to all of you.

    Posted on March 5, 2010 at 1:41 pm

  • Kim says:

    Several years ago my mom had some knee pain. She loved to walk for miles but the pain began to bother her and she had to stop, she even began to limp some so she had surgery on the knee. The pain never really went away. Then she was on a step ladder, as she was coming down she missed a step falling which caused her femur to snap. Fortunately she was able to reach a phone and call for help. After many months of rehabilitation and recovery time it seemed she was walkng a little better, but she was always in pain around her hip joints and the limp continued causing her to have to use a cane. Then on Jan 13 2010 as she was walking up her stairs her other femur snapped right out from under her. Again she was alone and able to drag hersefl to a phone. My Mom was always vibrate and a very active women who over the past few years has declined as far as activity. It now seems all this could have been caused by the drug Fosamax. She took Foxamax for many years until a year or so ago when she was placed on Boniva. I just took her for her 8 week check-up and she has just been given permission to put 50% of her weight on the leg since it has not fully healed. After seeing all she has been through I pray immediate action will be taken by the drug company and the FDA to make sure others don’t have to suffer such pain.

    Posted on March 10, 2010 at 9:21 pm

  • Karen says:

    My 80 year old mother has been in severe pain for 4 months and cannot walk at all any longer. She did not fall the pain just came and worsend on it’s own. After xrays, bone scans, mri’s and cat scans we found out that she has lesions in her femur bone and impending fractures that require her to have a rod placed in her femur to save it from potentially shattering. Were doing the surgery next week in hopes that she will someday be able to walk again. The docs have told us that the impending femur fractures are a result of the Fosomax she was taking for 3 year. We were told that it is lucky we found this impending fracture before it actually just shattered. The FDA and the makers of Fosomax need to take this medicine off the market. It is too dangerous. Then they need to make right by the people who are already suffering and probably will be for the rest of their lives to some degree.

    Posted on June 16, 2010 at 1:49 am

  • Deb K. says:

    My mother, age 89, had her femur break doing absolutely nothing….got up from a chair and next thing, she was on the floor w/broken femur. She had been on Fosamax for years. This drug is bad news! She then spent over a month in nursing care, lying in a bed. I have osteoporosis but refuse to take these poison drugs.

    Posted on August 9, 2010 at 9:09 pm

  • Clara says:

    I had a right hip replacement in 1995. In 1998, my rt femur broke in half right below the rod. It was replaced with a longer rod. There was a space between the 2 halves. It never filled in so a dr. did a strut graft on each side. They would not attach & fill in that space. The grafts died. The dr. said that at least I had an internal crutch – 8 rows of wires, 4 from the 2nd replacement, & 4 from the graft. In 2007, I was just walking and my left femur broke in half. The dr questioned my husband to inquire if he had been abusing me. He couldn’t believe that the biggest bone in my body
    had broken in half just from walking. I learned about a year later that Fosamax users were having femur fractures with no pertinent accident associated with it. I had been on Fosamax @ 10 years. I immediately stopped taking it. I have had some metatarsel fractures in my feet also since then. I still have pain in my hips and cannot walk very far. I have to use a motorized scooter when I go to an outside event. The Fosomax drug company should be held responsible for at least any future problems with both legs & feet fractures.

    Posted on September 28, 2011 at 10:33 am

  • J says:

    For those of you who are on Fosamax, GET OFF OF IT AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. I have bilateral femur fractures caused by taking Foxamax for a period of 10 years. Now I have to have metal rods placed in both legs. This drug is very damaging and needs to be taken off the market!!!!

    Posted on March 15, 2012 at 10:46 pm

  • Cathy says:

    I was diagnosed with osteoporosis at age 43 and was on Fosamax for five years. During that time, I had stress fractures, cracked ribs, compression fractures, broken hand and wrist. At the end of five years, I went to a specialist and was on forteo for over two years and then prolia for one year(I had some side effects and chose to stop the prolia). A bone density test, about four years ago, showed a 3 by 7 centimeter tumor at the top of the femur bone. Doctors think it is an endocondroma. am wondering if this tumor could have been caused from the fosamax, and if I need to continue having it observed and whether or not this is something to worry about. Also, no broken bones in the last three years (I am now 52 and still show no signs of menopause,but have just started taking actonel once a month, and am afraid that I may start going backwards. Any info would be greatly appreciated. It was also very hard over the years to find much info pertaining to premenopausal women with osteoporosis.

    Posted on May 21, 2012 at 11:13 pm

  • Ganka says:

    My femurs were shsemad to bits, surgeons were unable to put pins or screws in as the bones were broken into small pieces and both femurs came through the skin. i had to settle for 5 months of traction, i’m a little shorter now but thanks to all the surgeons who put me back together again, i’m one lucky guy.

    Posted on July 3, 2012 at 3:19 am

  • sue says:

    I had gone to many doctors with hip and back pain. Got a different diagnosis from each. I started having terrible thigh pain. I was diagnosed with enchondroma from x-rays. Kept complaining and was sent to get an MRI. MRI came back normal. I had been taking Fosamax for several years, then had Reclast one-time, Prolia three-times. Two weeks after my MRI came back normal, I was standing at my kitchen sink and my left femur snapped into. I had surgery the next day, the right femur was x-rayed and showed signs of weakening with a small hair-line fracture so the doctor put rods in both femurs. That has been 10-weeks ago. I am on a cane most of the time and in Physical Therapy on an outpatient basis. I had Physical Therapy for two weeks in the hospital before coming home, then I had Physical Therapy to come in my home for two weeks. It has been a very painful journey. Hope I will be able to walk without a cane or walker someday. I will not be a guinea pig to anymore drugs. I consider them all dangerous with the side effects they present. I have been on Vitamin D2 50,000 units a week.

    Posted on August 15, 2016 at 10:36 am

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