Normal Bone and Osteoporosis

People who have developed osteoporosis, check if you have cracks in your spine. There are reports confirming 5,50,000 spinal fractures every year in osteoporosis cases.

Annually there are around 3,00,000 cases of hip fractures which is less than the number of spinal fracture cases, yet patients are more aware of the fracture of the hip. The reason for this is that spinal fractures are so painless in osteoporosis cases that the patient may not even realize that their bones have become so brittle that they have developed cracks in them.

The awareness on the same is being spread by, authoritative website for back pain, as a part of National Osteoporosis Awareness and Prevention Month.

Dr. Isador Lieberman, Chairman of the Spine Program at Cleveland Clinic Florida said, “Spinal fractures from osteoporosis are particularly dangerous because they can affect your breathing, your mobility, and even irritate or damage the spinal cord or nerves.” Adding, “Although some fractures can be painless, many do cause intense chronic pain if the bone does not heal or if the nerves are pinched. Multiple spinal fractures can even decrease your lung capacity as your spine curves forward and reduces space for the lungs.”

Osteoporosis literally means ‘porous bones’ wherein the density of bones decreases as holes develop in the bones. Normally even healthy bones have fine holes in them which make them look like an ‘intricate honeycomb-like design’ on them. In case of osteoporosis, the holes in the honey comb get bigger making them brittle and weak. It usually occurs in women in their post-menopause stage and in older people; however it can also develop in younger people.

Hospitalization costs for osteoporosis patients can go up to $10,000 per year which also includes cost for hospitalization care and follow-up. With the spinal fractures in addition to the disease, hospital bills can burn up a big hole in one’s pockets.

Reports especially warn the baby boomer women because even the youngest baby boomer must be reaching the menopause time when the risk of spine fractures in case of osteoporosis increases. There are 10 million osteoporosis patients in America out of which 80% are women and 20% are men.

However the disease and the fractures resulting from it are avoidable. The steps to be taken for preventing the complications in the disease are simple, like eating a Calcium and Vitamin-D rich diet, to stop smoking and the intake of alcohol and practicing weight-bearing exercises after consulting the doctor.