The radius is the largest of the bones in the forearm, responsible for connecting the elbow and hand. This bone allows wrist motion and forearm rotation, and the end closest to the wrist is particularly susceptible to breaking because it covers 80% of the wrist joint surface. When a person stretches their hand out to protect themselves during a fall, the radius bone close to the wrist bears most of the impact of the fall.
Distal radius fracture complications are common, regardless of the method of treatment used to repair the bone. The nature and location of the fracture compounded by the amount of pressure exerted on the wrist in our daily lives can lead to a variety of issues.
Common Distal Radius Fracture Complications
The complex structure of the wrist and the distal radius means that several complications can arise after a break or fracture. Common issues include irritation and rupture of the tendon, malunion and non-union, as well as long-term pain syndromes. Issues can differ depending on the patient and their prior bone conditions. However, common complications may include:
- Pain syndrome
- Loss of mobility
- Post-traumatic arthritis
- Nerve injury
- Bone spurs
Proper intervention with the correct strategies for strengthening the bones is essential to reducing the risk of distal radius fracture complications. Patients should be given guidelines on how to exercise the arms and wrists to support muscle growth, while simultaneously accessing the correct nutrients for bone formation and maintenance.
An adequate bone health reduces the risk of distal radius fracture complications, while also improving the chances of long-term bone strength for patients of all ages. The first step in encouraging good bone care is often advising patients to maintain a healthy body weight. Excessive weight and obesity can place additional pressure on the joints and reduce mobility.
Nutritional strategies include the consumption of dietetic antioxidants and antiinflammatory compounds together with a regular intake of vitamins and minerals such as:
- Vitamin D: in addition to its role in promoting bone formation, it promotes bone resorption by increasing the number and activity of osteoclasts.
- Vitamin B12: low levels of vitamin B12 increase the risk of reduced bone mineral density and fractures, in studied individuals.
- Calcium: Calcium supports the synthesis of new bone cells. Access to additional calcium helps to strengthen bones.
- Copper: Copper is valuable for healthy bones. This substance also helps to produce collagen for connective tissues, joints, and bones. These building blocks are essential for bone health.
- Zinc: Zinc is essential to building healthy bones. It stimulates the development of osteoblasts for building new bone and slows down the actions of osteoclasts that remove old bone.
- Selenium: Selenium deficiency is a risk factor for osteoporosis. It’s often associated with osteopenia and osteoarthropathy in human bones and joints.
Mushroom Supplements for Healthy Bones
One of the most effective ways to reduce the risks associated with nutritional deficiencies and distal radius fracture complications, is for patients to consume mushroom supplements. Mushrooms can provide access to simultaneous Vitamin D (as ergosterol-provitamin D), calcium, copper, zinc, and selenium. Regarding vitamins, note that mushrooms are the only non-animal based food containing vitamin D, and their content of vitamin B12 is similar to that for liver, beef, and fish.
Some medicinal mushrooms also contain valuable ingredients that can assist with the healthy development of bones. Ganoderma Lucidum mushrooms contain ganoderic acids that help to inhibit osteoclastogenesis which causes the mineralization of the bone in cancer cases.
Reishi mushrooms also promote the formation of new bone cells and reduce the risk of brittle or weak bones. Mushrooms from the Reishi species can assist with reducing oxidative stress too, improving the overall health of the body in recovery after an incident or break. Elsewhere, Cordyceps mushrooms can be an effective substance for regulating the endocrine level in the body. This helps to reduce the physical and mental fatigue caused by bone conditions.
As some preclinical studies indicate, regarding osteoporosis and similar conditions, medicinal mushroom extracts can be considered as a preventive treatment and/or a supplement to pharmacotherapy to enhance its effectiveness and ameliorate its harmful side effects. In this sense, Shiitake and Reishi are especially useful in improving bone formation.
Mushroom supplements are often more effective for the protection and strengthening of bone cells, as they allow patients to access a highly concentrated dose of helpful nutrients, vitamins and minerals. . Mushroom supplements could be a valuable way to enhance the other dietary strategies used to strengthen bones in patients with prior breakages long-term.