Osteoporosis is a bone disease that causes loss of mass of the bone tissue. A healthy individual’s bones are dense; under a microscope, a healthy bone has a honeycomb-like appearance with tiny holes.
However, the bones of a person with osteoporosis has larger holes and gaps in the honeycomb-like structure because of density loss. This loss of density makes bones weaker.
Does Everyone Get Osteoporosis Eventually?
It’s normal for people to lose bone density as they age, but osteoporosis indicates a significantly high level of bone density loss.
People who had very dense bones at a young age are at a lower risk of developing osteoporosis. Also, people who have consumed a relatively high amount of calcium that was properly absorbed by their bodies are less at risk.
Is There a Cure for Osteoporosis?
There is no cure for osteoporosis, but there are many treatments available to control the condition and to help slow the progression of bone density loss, such as medications and hormone therapies. Early detection is extremely important in controlling osteoporosis.
The earlier the condition is diagnosed, the better the treatment options. If osteoporosis is discovered early enough, doctors can help keep the bones strong for as long as possible.
Risks of Untreated Osteoporosis
A person with osteoporosis is far more prone to fractures and broken bones than is a person without the condition. Individuals with osteoporosis can suffer fractures or broken bones from a light fall, but they can also experience a fracture from mild movements such as twisting or coughing.
Untreated osteoporosis lets bone loss continue, making bones weaker at a continuous rate. Without being diagnosed, patients cannot take advantage of the available preventive treatments. In the long run, untreated osteoporosis gets worse in a shorter period of time.
How Is Osteoporosis Diagnosed?
Unfortunately, osteoporosis is difficult to diagnose because there are not a lot of signs that pinpoint osteoporosis as the cause. In fact, the beginning stages of osteoporosis have no symptoms at all.
Typically, osteoporosis is discovered after a bone breaks. When this happens, the special bone-density X-rays (called DEXA scans) will reveal signs of osteoporosis, and the doctor will diagnose the patient.
Because of this, millions of people go undiagnosed until the condition is fairly severe and bones have lost a significant amount of density already.
How Can I Prevent Osteoporosis?
Fortunately, there is a test available that can help diagnose osteoporosis before a broken bone occurs. This is called the bone mineral density (BMD) test.
The BMD test allows doctors to diagnose patients with osteoporosis in the early stages of the condition when little or no symptoms are apparent, so the doctor can prescribe treatments and exercises to help reduce the progression of the condition. This test measures the density in a person’s bones through the use of a small amount of radiation and imaging technology.
The test involves passing a metal arm over the body to measure bone density. The amount of radiation involved in the test is very small – far less than the radiation involved in a chest X-ray. The bone density test takes about 30 minutes to perform and is painless.
Who Can Help My Osteoporosis in Florida?
The caring team at Total Orthopaedic Care has specialized education and experience working on a variety of orthopedic conditions, including osteoporosis. We offer a wealth of knowledge and state-of-the-art equipment to diagnose and treat your condition properly and fully.
If you think you should get a bone density test or may have osteoporosis, call us today at (954) 735-3535 or request an appointment online. We have convenient locations in Pembroke Pines and Lauderdale Lakes, and we look forward to serving you and helping you enjoy an active lifestyle.