Osteoporosis is a bone disease that occurs when the body loses too much bone, makes too little bone, or both. As a result, bones become weak and may break from a fall or, in serious cases, from sneezing or minor bumps.
About 54 million Americans have osteoporosis and low bone mass, placing them at increased risk for osteoporosis. Studies suggest that approximately one in two women and up to one in four men age 50 and older will break a bone due to osteoporosis.
Breaking a bone is a serious complication of osteoporosis, especially with older patients. Osteoporotic bone breaks are most likely to occur in the hip, spine or wrist. In addition to causing permanent pain, osteoporosis causes some patients to lose height. Compression fractures in vertebrae, or the bones of the spine, often lead to a stooped or hunched posture. If you are experiencing height loss or your spine is curving, be sure to consult your doctor or healthcare professional immediately.
Additionally, twenty percent of seniors who break a hip die within one year from either complications related to the broken bone itself or the surgery to repair it. Many patients require long-term nursing home care. Osteoporosis is often called a silent disease because one can’t feel bones weakening. Breaking a bone is often the first sign of osteoporosis