Osteoporosis Treatment Beltsville MD
Takoma Park, MD
Glen Burnie, MD
Bay Area Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine
Graduation Year: 2007
College Park, MD
National Orthopedics PC
Northern Virginia Orthopaedic Group
A Patient's Guide to Osteoporosis
Osteoporosis is a very common disorder affecting the skeleton. In a patient with osteoporosis, the bones begin losing their minerals and support beams, leaving the skeleton brittle and prone to fractures.
In the U.S., 10 million individuals are estimated to already have the disease and almost 34 million more have low bone mass, placing them at increased risk for osteoporosis. Of the 10 million Americans affected by osteoporosis, eight million are women and two million are men. Most of them over age 65.
Bone fractures caused by osteoporosis have become very costly. Half of all bone fractures are related to osteoporosis. More than 300,000 hip fractures occur in the United States every year. A person with a hip fracture has a 20 percent chance of dying within six months as a result of the fracture. Many people who have a fracture related to osteoporosis spend considerable time in the hospital and in rehabilitation. Often, they need to spend some time in a nursing home.
This guide will help you understand
What happens to bones with osteoporosis?
Most people think of their bones as completely solid and unchanging. This is not true. Your bones are constantly changing as they respond to the way you use your body. As muscles get stronger, the bones underneath them get stronger, too. As muscles lose strength, the bones underneath them weaken. Changes in hormone levels or the immune system can also change the way the bones degenerate and rebuild themselves.
As a child, your bones are constantly growing and getting denser. At about age 25, you hit your peak bone mass. As an adult, you can help maintain this peak bone mass by staying active and eating a diet with enough calories, calcium, and vitamin D. But maintaining this bone mass gets more difficult as we get older. Age makes building bone mass more difficult. In women, the loss of estrogen at menopause can cause the bones to lose density very rapidly.
The bone cells responsible for building new bone are called osteoblasts. Stimulating the creation of osteoblasts helps your body build bone and improve bone density. The bone cells involved in degeneration of the bones are called osteoclasts. Interfering with the action of the osteoclasts can slow down bone loss.
In high-turnover osteoporosis, the osteoclasts reabsorb bone cells very quickly. The osteoblasts can't produce bone cells fast enough to keep up with the osteoclasts. The result is a loss of bone mass, particularly trabecular bone--the spongy bone inside vertebral bones and at the end of long bones. Postmenopausal women tend to have high-turnover osteoporosis (also known as primary type one osteoporosis). This relates to their sudden decrease in production of estrogen after menopause. Bones weakened by t...