Osteoporosis is a condition that causes your bones to become weak and more susceptible to fractures. It can affect all ages but is more prevalent amongst post-menopausal women. According to the NHS over 300,000 people seek treatment for fractures every year as a result of osteoporosis.
Osteoporosis occurs when the internal structure of your bone becomes slower at repairing itself, so over time the density of your bone reduces, causing it to become thinner and weaken. Risk factors include arthritis, early menopause, smoking, heavy drinking and a family history of osteoporosis.
In most cases you will be unaware of your condition until a minor accident results in a fracture. The hips are particularly vulnerable to fracture, and we treat hundreds of patients every year as a result of hip fractures caused by osteoporosis. Other symptoms can include severe back pain and height loss, but in most cases there will be no warning signs.
As well as treating your fracture, we will take preventative measures to lessen the risk of future injuries. These can include medication to help treat your bone loss and prevent further reduction.
If we suspect that you are suffering from osteoporosis we will carry out a DEXA scan to measure your bone mineral density. This helps us to determine the risk of future fractures and plan the most effective course of osteoporosis treatment, working closely with other healthcare professionals such as your GP to prevent future injuries.
If you think you are at risk of developing osteoporosis there are several things you can do to keep your bones healthy. Most importantly, you can eradicate potential risk factors such as smoking and heavy drinking. Regular exercise and a healthy diet, which is high in calcium and vitamin D, are also vital for building bone density.