Osteoporosis | Torrance Memorial | South Bay

Osteoporosis

Although more than 10 million Americans are affected by osteoporosis, the majority of patients are not even aware they have it. Osteoporosis is a disease that results in weakened bones, and often does not produce symptoms until a fracture occurs. A fracture has the potential to be painful and could affect you and your lifestyle. People are often surprised to learn that 40% of women over age 50 will experience an osteoporosis-related fracture in their lifetime. However that osteoporosis is not a natural part of aging.

Bone Density Testing

Learn more about bone density testing to screen for osteoporosis.

What is Osteoporosis?

Osteoporosis is a loss in bone mass and bone strength. Bones become weak and easier to break. Any bone can be affected. The wrists, spine and hips, are the most common areas that are affected. Osteoporosis can occur without any pain and you may not see or feel any changes occurring with your bones. The first sign is a fracture of the hip, wrist, or spine.


Risk Associated with Osteoporosis

  • Gradual loss of height
  • Rounding of the shoulders
  • Sudden back pain
  • Stooped posture
  • Dowager's hump

Breaking a bone is serious, especially at an older age. Broken bones and fractures as a result of osteoporosis are most likely to occur in the hip, spine and wrist, but other bones can break too. This can cause severe pain. Some people lose height and become shorter. It can also affect your posture, causing you to become stooped or hunched. This happens when the bones of the spine, called vertebrae, begin to break or collapse.

Osteoporosis may even keep you from getting around easily and doing the things you enjoy. This can make you feel isolated and depressed. It can also lead to other health problems. Twenty percent of seniors who break a hip die within one year from problems related to the broken bone itself or surgery to repair it. Many of those who survive need long-term nursing home care.


Postmenopausal Osteoporosis - The Women's Bone Disease

There are more than 10 million people in the United States who have osteoporosis, 80% are women. Postmenopausal osteoporosis is a form of osteoporosis, which occurs in women after menopause. Normally, old bone breaks down and is replaced with new bone. Osteoporosis creates an imbalance in this rebuilding cycle when bone breaks down but no new bone forms. This process speeds up after menopause.

People develop postmenopausal osteoporosis because estrogen rates decline after menopause. Low estrogen levels can potentially cause osteoporosis. As women grow older, they can lose a significant percentage of their bone mass to osteoporosis.

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