What are Osteopenia and Osteoporosis?
Osteopenia, Osteoporosis, and Osteonecrosis are often called silent diseases because they have so few symptoms, but complications can cause disability, pain, and sometimes death. These diseases of the bone occur when people lose too much bone mass, make too little new bone tissue, or both. Up to 54 million Americans suffer from osteoporosis or osteopenia (low bone mass) which increases the risk of osteoporosis. Another disease, osteonecrosis, is caused by low blood flow to the bone.
Risks and Prevention of Osteoporosis and Osteopenia
Losing bone mass is a part of the normal aging process, however certain groups of people are more likely to develop osteoporosis. Women, people over the age of 50, people with a low body weight, and those with a family history of osteoporosis all have an increased likelihood of contracting the disease. Since osteoporosis increases the risk of fractures, the focus should be on prevention of breaking a bone. This can be accomplished by doing things in the home to prevent falls, using assistive devices or non-slip shoes when going out, and maintaining a good exercise routine. Another important part of prevention is including Vitamin D and Calcium in your diet.
Detecting Bone Diseases
Since osteoporosis can often go undetected, it is important for women aged 65 and older to have a bone density scan. People with one or more of the heightened risk factors should get bone scans done sooner than that. All men aged 75 years and up should also be tested for osteoporosis.
Make an Appointment
At Colorado Springs Orthopaedic Group we are fortunate to have Megan M. Perry, PA-C on staff. A move from Chicago brought Megan to Colorado Springs and a job assisting Dr. Watson and Dr. Cassidy with the hand and upper extremity specialty of orthopedics. She is passionate about bone health and actively educates patients on how to stay healthy. Megan is transitioning out of the hand department to pursue her passion in bone health. Call 719-632-7669 to schedule an appointment for a bone density scan with Megan today.