My elderly mother fell and broke her elbow. Because mom has osteoporosis, the doctor said the best thing to do is replace the broken elbow with a new joint. Wouldn't it be easier to just fix the broken elbow?

Repairing a broken elbow is difficult even in the best of circumstances. Fixing a fracture in a person with osteoporosis is even more challenging. Bones affected by osteoporosis have less density and are softer than normal bones. Metal plates and screws used to fix the broken elbow can't hold as well in bones that are softened by osteoporosis. Thus, doctors may recommend removing the broken pieces of bone and replacing the elbow joint with a new joint.