Westside Regional Medical Center
Founded in 1974, our facility provides comprehensive healthcare to the residents of Broward County.

Spotlight on Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis is a serious health risk for men and women over the age of 50. During National Osteoporosis Month in May, the National Osteoporosis Foundation focuses on educating the public about this condition and how they can prevent it. If you haven’t been screened for osteoporosis in the past, May is a good time to see your physician or an orthopedic specialist to learn more about how this disease could affect you. Here is a closer look at what you need to know about osteoporosis.

What is osteoporosis?

Osteoporosis literally means porous bone. It is a condition in which bone loss occurs, creating bones that are not as dense as normal and that look like honeycomb under a microscope. When this kind of bone loss occurs, the risk of experiencing a fracture increases significantly. In some patients with severe osteoporosis, even sneezing can lead to a fracture.

Many orthopedic specialists refer to osteoporosis as a silent disease, because it usually doesn’t cause any symptoms until a fracture occurs. This is one of the reasons that screening for osteoporosis is so important.

What causes osteoporosis?

A long list of factors can contribute to osteoporosis. Your physician can tell you if you have an elevated risk. Some of the most common conditions that are linked to osteoporosis are:

  • Autoimmune disorders, including rheumatoid arthritis and lupus

  • Endocrine disorders, including diabetes and hyperthyroidism

  • Cancers, including leukemia and breast cancer

  • Digestive disorders, including irritable bowel disease and celiac disease

Certain surgical procedures, such as weight loss surgery and organ transplant, can also contribute to osteoporosis, as can weight loss, depression and eating disorders.

How is osteoporosis diagnosed and treated?

A DEXA bone scan is used to detect bone loss and diagnose osteoporosis. Scans can be ordered if your physician thinks you have an increased risk of osteoporosis or after a fracture that could have been related to bone loss. Osteoporosis can’t be cured, but it can be slowed by medications, including calcium supplements and hormone therapy.

Are you concerned about your bone health? Make an appointment with an orthopedic physician in Plantation, FL, at Westside Regional Medical Center. For more information about orthopedic care, the Orthopedic and Spine Institute, and all of our hospital services, please call (954) 370-5585.

Categories: Health Tips, Osteoporosis


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