Apr 09, 2024
Osteoporosis is a common Metabolic Bone Disease that leads to weakness of the bones and increase risk of fractures. Early diagnosis and management can lead to reduce risk of fracture and resultant disability.
Osteoporosis is a common disease and with the growing senior population, the prevalence and resulting complications and disabilities are expected to increase.
Reduced bone mass and strength leads to increase risk of fractures. Vertebral fractures are the most common clinical manifestations of osteoporosis and approximately 2/3 are asymptomatic and diagnosed as incidental findings on an X-ray. It can result in height loss, chronic bone pain, deformity and disability. There is data to suggest that it is associated with increased risk of mortality.
Hip fractures are relatively common in Osteoporosis, affecting up to 15% of women and 5% of men by the age of 80 years. In addition, the wrist fractures can also occur, resulting in damage, deformity and disability. 
Fractures are more common in women shortly after menopause, while the risk of hip fracture increases exponentially with age. Diagnosis can be made with a bone density test, a non-invasive safe tool that can help predict the risk of fragility fracture. Further, previous history of fragility fracture or non-traumatic fracture as well as a significant score on a fracture risk assessment tool are also used to diagnose osteoporosis.
Treatment options are safe and effective and include medicines to reduce bone breakdown called Anti-resorptives and medicine to increase bone formation called Anabolic agents. The choices include medications by mouth, subcutaneous injections and infusions. 
 With the growing risk and resultant complications, it is essential to be on the lookout and preemptively screening people at higher risk most of which at asymptomatic. Please discuss this with your rheumatologist and if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Rheumatology Clinic of Houston at 832-237-8585.