By Our Staff Reporter
Dehradun, 20 Nov: Osteoporosis causes bones to become porous and thereby become weak and brittle. Even a trivial fall or even mild stress such as bending over, coughing, sneezing and laughing can cause a fracture.
Bone is living tissue that is constantly being broken down and replaced all the time. Osteoporosis occurs when the formation of new bone does not keep up with the loss of old bone. Bone mass increases up to 30 years of age when it achieves its peak. It remains almost constant from 30-50 years and, then, it starts decreasing after 50 years in females and 65 years in males, according to Dr Gaurav Sanjay of Sanjay Orthopaedic, Spine & Maternity Center, Jakhan. Osteoporosis affects, both, men and women of all races but Asian women, especially post menopausal, are at high risk. Certain medications like steroid and anti-epileptic and certain diseases like hypothyroidism, diabetes along with unhealthy diet, sedentary work increase the chance of osteoporosis.
Dr Gaurav Sanjay says that osteoporosis is such a serious health issue that being an orthopaedic surgeon he sees at least one new or old fracture a day in his clinical practice.
A 91 year old male had gradual onset back pain after a trivial fall. He had fracture of the D12 vertebra without any obvious injury in the back. Another patient, a 97 year old female sustained a left hip fracture due to fall from bed at night. A 50 year old post menopausal female had a right wrist fracture, who also had asthma. This is the common presentation of osteoporotic fracture in all orthopaedic OPDs.
The fracture alone is itself a problem but because of their increased age they are having co-morbidities like diabetes, hypertension, cardiac and asthma which further increase the problem and make the anesthesia and surgical procedure a high risk procedure and their post-operative recovery seems unpredictable. Patients, after getting the best treatment, can survive for more than a decade in many cases, adds Dr Gaurav.
Efforts should be made to prevent osteoporosis with a balanced and a nutritious diet which is rich in calcium and vitamin D. Routine physical activities should be undertaken to maintain bone health. Consumption of alcohol and smoking should be avoided in old age. If by chance, there is fracture, then it should be treated early and fixation should be secured to mobilise the patient early.