Up to 50% of women and 25% of men aged 50 years or older will break a bone due to osteoporosis.
The word “Osteoporosis” literally means “porous bones”. It is a metabolic disorder of bones resulting in progressive weakening and increased likelihood of breaking bones (fractures). It is estimated that about 54 million Americans have this condition. Fractures from osteoporosis most often occur in the hip, spine (vertebral column) or wrists but other bones may break too. Pain, disability, immobility, loss of height are some of the known sequelae of fractures. Sadly, one in five senior citizens who break a hip die within a year (from complications related to fracture or from surgery done to repair the fracture).
Bone mineral density test is widely used to evaluate for bone quality. It is used as a screening tool as well as a test to monitor for serial changes with treatment interventions. An endocrinologist can evaluate for potential secondary causes of osteoporosis and offer specific medications to help reduce risk of future fractures and improve bone density.