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Causes of Osteoporosis

Causes of Osteoporosis

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Osteoporosis is a chronic loss of bone mass. It becomes more common with age, affecting up to 30 percent of post-menopausal women. Men can also develop osteoporosis as they age. This condition can become serious, but you may not know that you have it until you fall and fracture a bone. Our doctors offer orthopedic care for injuries that result from osteoporosis.

Symptoms of Osteoporosis

In the early stages of osteoporosis, there are no symptoms. That is why it is important to visit your doctor for a bone density test and for a lab test to check your calcium and vitamin D levels. As osteoporosis advances, you may notice a loss in height or the development of a hump on your back. You may have a stooped posture. A slip and fall while walking in your home could result in a fractured bone due to your loss of bone mass. This type of a fall would not cause a fracture in a person with a healthy amount of bone.

Causes of Osteoporosis

Your body is constantly remodeling its bones. As old bone cells die, the body removes them and adds new, healthy cells. You reach your peak bone mass in your 20s. The more bone mass you have, the less likely you are to develop osteoporosis as you age. People with a small body frame, people who are Caucasian or Asian, post-menopausal women, and the elderly are most likely to develop osteoporosis. People with thyroid disorders, hormone imbalances, low calcium intake, or eating disorders also have an increased risk of osteoporosis. Taking steroids and anti-seizure medications also increase your risk.

Orthopedic Injuries Caused by Osteoporosis

Our orthopedic doctors diagnose bone fractures caused by osteoporosis. Common orthopedic injuries resulting from osteoporosis include broken hips, fractured vertebrae, and broken ankles and legs. X-rays, CT scans and measurements of your body help our physicians to detect fractures and changes in your bone density.

Prevention and Treatment of Osteoporosis

When you experience a fracture because of weakened bones from osteoporosis, your doctor may prescribe medications called bisphosphonates. This helps to rebuild bone mass. Some patients also benefit from hormone therapy. After your fracture heals, your doctor will teach you strengthening exercises for flexibility and enhancement of your posture.