These are osteoporosis implications for skeletal fractures based on recent clinical studies. Research shows us how to delay onset.
The human body consists of more than 200 bones. Not only do they give our body shape but they also facilitate movement.
As it is, however, they can be affected by various conditions. Some examples include fibrous dysplasia, osteogenesis imperfect, and osteopetrosis.
The most common bone disease, however, is osteoporosis. In the United States alone, it affects over 10 million people!
What is it? Can you prevent it? What are the osteoporosis implications for skeletal fractures? Find out by reading this post!
What Is Osteoporosis?
Osteoporosis is a disease that’s characterized by low bone mass. In other words, the bones will become weak and brittle. As a result, you’ll be more likely to suffer a fracture.
While it can occur in anyone, it’s most commonly seen in older adults, especially women. The most commonly affected bones include those of the hips, spine, and wrist.
Causes of Osteoporosis
Bone is a living tissue; it continuously renews itself (i.e. old bone is constantly broken down while new bone is being made).
This isn’t a problem when you’re young as your body is able to make bone faster than it’s broken down. As you age, however, this process slows down. In other words, your bone mass will decrease.
Over time, this can contribute to osteoporosis. Certain medical conditions such as hyperthyroidism may also play a role.
Risk Factors of Osteoporosis
Certain things, aside from age, can put you at a higher risk for osteoporosis. Take menopause, for example—the hormone changes involved can cause women to lose bone more quickly.
Other risk factors include poor nutrition, smoking, physical inactivity, and low body weight. Those who are of Asian or Caucasian descent are also more prone to developing osteoporosis.
Common Signs and Symptoms
The early stages of osteoporosis don’t usually cause any symptoms. As the disease progresses, however, it can lead to receding gums, brittle fingernails, and weakened grip strength.
Eventually, an individual may also experience loss of height, back pain, neck pain, or a stooped posture.
Fractures are another common sign. In some cases, they can even occur from a strong cough or sneeze.
4 Osteoporosis Implications for Fractures
Osteoporosis is often associated with fragility fractures. Here are a few things that you should know.
1. Impact of Hip Fractures
Hip fractures are not only painful but they can also decrease your mobility. In fact, they’re one of the main reasons why seniors lose their independence.
For one thing, 40% of individuals will no longer be able to walk independently after suffering an episode. While recovery is possible, 60% will still require assistance a year later.
2. Impact of Spinal Compression Fractures
A vertebral fracture, aka spinal compression fracture, occurs when a bone in the spine collapses—this can lead to loss of height, back pain, and immobility. In some cases, it can also affect pulmonary function.
As a result, some people may experience depression, distorted body image, or loss of self-esteem.
It’s worth mentioning that those who’s suffered a vertebral fracture are also at a higher risk of further fractures.
3. Socioeconomic Impact
Osteoporosis has both social and economic impacts. Loss of workdays can be a huge issue for those who are still active in the workplace.
Not only that but the medical treatments can also be expensive—this is especially true if you require surgery or hospitalization.
Finally, it can cause an individual to lose their independence. Instead of living at home, they’d have to stay at an institution or nursing home. As you can imagine, that would also add to the expenses.
4. Increased Mortality
Fragility fractures, especially those of the hip and spine, are associated with a significant increase in mortality rates. What’s interesting, though, is that deaths are predominantly due to comorbidities (e.g. cardiovascular complications, infection)—not the fracture itself.
Generally speaking, mortality rates are highest during the first six months after the fracture. Percentage-wise, it ranges from 10-45%.
How to Prevent Osteoporosis
The good news is that there are a few things that you can do to prevent the condition (or at least delay its onset). We’ll be going over some of them below.
Get Enough Vitamin D
Vitamin D is produced in your skin after exposure to sunlight. Not only is it involved in bone formation but it also helps keep them strong and healthy.
You can get it from various foods such as mushrooms, eggs, and fish such as salmon, trout, or sardines. Certain juices or dairy products are also fortified with the vitamin.
Get Enough Calcium
Calcium is required for the development of bones. If anything, it goes hand-in-hand with vitamin D as it’s needed for your body to absorb the mineral.
Some calcium-rich foods include nuts, soya beans, seeds, yogurt, leafy greens, and whey protein.
Speaking of which, there are also supplements that you can take for your bones. Take ligandrol, for example, it’s said to increase bone formation—you can check it out to learn more.
Maintain a Healthy Body Weight
Last but not least, you want to maintain healthy body weight. The lower your BMI, the higher your chance of osteoporosis.
Why? Because you’ll have less bone mass to draw from, especially as you age.
As you can see, there are various osteoporosis implications for skeletal fractures. Fortunately, it’s possible to reduce your risk of the disease with a few lifestyle changes. For more posts on health and wellness, be sure to check out the rest of our blog!