Osteoporosis remains the least
understood ailment and awareness of the individual's risk factors and bone density is critical
in preventing osteoporotic fractures, feel
orthopaedics and spine surgeons in India.
Osteoporosis is an ailment in which
the density and mass of the bones decrease leading to bone fragility and an
increased risk of fractures of the hip, spine, and wrist. The condition is
silent, as it does not cause symptoms until there is a fracture.
However, experts suggest a simple Bone
Mass Density (BMD) test that could give a fair idea about bone density or its
porosity and can help identify prognosis of disease, if any.
The proportion of the population suffering from osteoporosis has
increased with the rise in global life expectancy.
"Life expectancy for both sexes rose from 65.3 years in 1990, to
71.5 years in 2013. In India, life expectancy rose seven years for men and 10
years for women. Osteoporosis
usually sets in when people reach their 60s or 70s. This means the burden due
to osteoporosis on individuals has greatly increased," said
Dr Appaji Krishnan, Chief Spine Surgeon, of SIMS, SRM Institutes for Medical
Osteoporosis affects 200 million people worldwide. In India, around
25 million people are currently suffering from the disease with increased risk
Types of Osteoporosis
It is the
most common type of osteoporosis. It is more common in women than men. In
women, accelerated bone loss begins after monthly menstrual periods stop. In
men, gradual bone thinning starts at about 45 to 50 years of age.
Some risk factors: Inadequate intake of calcium and vitamin D, inactive lifestyle, small-boned or underweight body type, excess abdominal fat, smoking and drinking.
occur at any age as a result of having certain medical conditions, such as
hyperthyroidism, or leukemia. This condition may result from prolonged use of
medications such as glucocorticoids, when it is called steroid-induced
It is a rare form of osteoporosis that is present at birth. It causes bones to break
for no apparent reason.
- Idiopathic Juvenile Osteoporosis
It is also
rare and occurs in children between the ages of 8 and 14 or during times of
However,experts say bone density loss is preventable by following some appropriate
- Get enough
calcium. Some recommended calcium sources are dairy products, dark leafy green
vegetables and dried beans.
- Maintain a
healthy weight. Being underweight and excess abdominal fat raise the
- Get enough
exercise. Staying active encourages bone growth and protects the
alcohol and quit smoking. Both alcohol and tobacco use can contribute to
weakened bone in a variety of ways.
patients take medication to slow the loss of bone. Other drugs that help manage
healthcare conditions can make osteoporosis worse. So, be cautious.
- Make fall
prevention a priority. Reduce the risk by having regular eye examinations,
keeping the house and premises free of hazardous conditions.
kyphoplasty, a minimally invasive surgery, can repair spinal fractures caused by osteoporosis. Orthopedic
balloons are used to gently elevate the fractured vertebra in an attempt to
correct its position. Bone cement is then injected to stabilize the fracture.
Balloon kyphoplasty normally takes up to one hour.
Balloon kyphoplasty's advantages:
- 3 times greater pain reduction one week after the procedure.
- Long term pain relief
- 4 times greater quality of life one month after the procedure.
- Restores height and corrects stooped posture.