Osteoporosis is a relatively common condition that affects as many as 54 million men and women in the U.S., according to the National Osteoporosis Foundation. Because it leads to brittle, more fragile bones, you are at much higher risk for fractures when you have this disease. The condition forces many individuals to alter their lifestyle habits to reduce the danger, which can significantly impact your quality of life in some cases.

At the Orthopaedic Institute of Ohio, we understand the profound effect osteoporosis can have on your daily life and work with you to prevent, diagnose and treat this condition. We combine screening and testing for osteoporosis with a focus on prevention as well as treatment of the disease. We use a full-bed DEXA scanner, which is considered the most accurate method of bone density testing available today. If we find you have a low bone density, we can initiate treatment the same day as you scan.

Osteoporosis: An Overview

Osteoporosis means porous bone, which is an accurate description of what happens to the bone over time. As density inside the bone is lost, it becomes brittle and prone to breakage. The most common areas for osteoporosis-related fractures are the wrists, hips and spine. While the condition can occur in both men and women, it is more common in women and particularly problematic around the time of menopause when hormonal changes can accelerate the process.

Risk Factors

Your bones contain living tissue that is broken down and replaced much like the other cells in your body. Osteoporosis occurs when the breakdown of the bone occurs faster than its replacement, leading to insufficiencies in the living matter. While this happens as a natural part of the aging process, some factors can increase your risk for osteoporosis:

  • Gender – women are more likely to develop osteoporosis than men
  • Age – older adults are more vulnerable to the changes in the bone density
  • Heredity – if you have family members with osteoporosis, you are more likely to as well
  • Lifestyle – poor nutrition, a sedentary lifestyle, smoking or excessive alcohol consumption can all contribute to osteoporosis
  • Medications and Medical Conditions – some drugs and diseases can also increase your risk for osteoporosis

Complications Associated with Osteoporosis

Fractures are a severe complication with osteoporosis, particularly fractures of the hip or spine. Some people suffer spinal fractures without even falling. The break might occur from something as simple as reaching for an object or sneezing. These fractures can lead to loss of height, poor posture and severe pain.

Hip fractures are typically the result of a fall and can be very debilitating. These injuries often require surgery and months of rehabilitation. Some people may never recover fully from a hip fracture, and the condition is even linked to premature death for some older adults.

Osteoporosis Treatment Options

While the primary focus in managing osteoporosis is prevention, once the condition is diagnosed, there are ways to treat the disease and reduce your fracture risk. Nutrition counseling and exercise will help to prevent additional bone loss and strengthen your muscles to support the bones. Medications are also available to increase bone mass and decrease your risk for fractures.

Osteoporosis is a painful, debilitating condition, but the good news is there are ways to manage this disease today. Contact the Orthopaedic Institute of Ohio today at 419-222-6622 to find out how we can help.