Osteoporosis Overview:

Osteoporosis is a disorder that is characterized by loss of bone mass and a structural deterioration of the bone tissue. People with osteoporosis are susceptible to fractures, especially to the wrist, hip and spine, although breaks can occur in almost any bone in the body. Spinal fractures are the most common type of osteoporotic fractures that occur, which can alter the shape and length of the spine. For some people affected by this disease, simple activities like bending over to pick up something, lifting a child or a bag of groceries, bumping into something or getting out of the shower and slipping can cause a bone to break. Osteoporosis is sometimes called a “silent” disease because an individual may not know they have osteoporosis until a fracture occurs. In fact, it is not uncommon for people to discover they have a fractured vertebra (or multiple vertebrae).

Symptoms & Treatment

Symptoms:

Symptoms of osteoporosis include:

  • Sudden severe back pain
  • A gradual loss of height along with a more stooped posture
  • Dental records are showing loss of bone in the jaw, which can be an indication of osteoporosis
  • Fractures of the spine, wrist or hip

Treatment

Some of the most common treatments for osteoporosis include:

  • Education
  • Physical therapy
  • Medication
  • Proper diet along with a vitamin/calcium regimen
  • Injections
  • Hormone replacement therapy
  • Surgery (last option)

A combination of these treatments will usually work to alleviate the pain.

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Common Questions

Will I be able to resume normal physical activities? 

Many people with spinal osteoarthritis are able to resume their normal activities after treatment. The goal of treatment for most patients is to have a healthy, active lifestyle. You’ll want to speak with a SpineOne physician to plan your particular treatment and get back into the swing of things.

What are the ways I can keep osteoporosis from worsening?  

Proper diet, exercise and following your doctor and/or physical therapist’s treatment plan should help. You’ll want to speak with a SpineOne doctor to discover which activities (walking, swimming, weight-bearing exercises, etc.) may work best for you.

Where can I get treatment?  

SpineOne is Denver’s premier medical center for the treatment of spine-related conditions and disorders, including osteoporosis. We recommend you call and schedule an appointment with one of our highly qualified physicians to help improve your quality of life.

How can I prevent fractures from occurring?

Proper diet and exercise are key components of preventing fractures. Calcium in the diet, especially for women 15-20 years after menopause, is crucial. Quit smoking and limited alcoholic beverages will also have a positive effect on minimizing osteoporosis-related fractures.