NORWICH – Osteoporosis…the word is a seemingly innocuous arrangement of syllables that slide easily off of the tongue. Osteo means bones. Porous means full of minute openings in an otherwise solid structure. Osteoporosis means one’s bones are becoming full of holes. Osteoporosis is a progressive disease; resulting in decreased bone density and increased bone fragility, which leads to bones that are susceptible to fracture.
Women suffer the greatest risk. Although one third of women over the age of 50 have osteoporosis, 80% remain undiagnosed. A woman’s post-menopausal risk of osteoporotic fracture is three times that of a man’s. The most frightening aspect of osteoporosis is that it is a silent disease. In fact, there may be no symptoms until fractures occur.
Bone loss is the major risk factor that can be modified with early treatment to reduce the risk of fracture. Although bone loss can be reduced by treatment, it is very difficult to restore the micro architecture of the skeleton once bone loss has occurred. This is why early detection and intervention are so crucial.