Osteoporosis, a chronic, progressive disease of multifactorial etiology, is the most common metabolic bone disease. It has been most frequently recognized in elderly women, although it does occur in both sexes, all races, and all age groups. Screening at-risk populations is essential.
Osteoporosis is a systemic skeletal disease characterized by low bone mass and microarchitectural deterioration of bone tissue, with a consequent increase in bone fragility. The disease often does not become clinically apparent until a fracture occurs.
(Ahmed SF, Elmantaser M. Secondary osteoporosis. Endocr Dev. 2009. 16:170-90. [Medline].)
Osteoporosis. Lateral radiograph demonstrates multiple osteoporotic vertebral compression fractures. Kyphoplasty has been performed at one level.
Osteoporosis represents an increasingly serious health and economic problem around the world. Many individuals, male and female, experience pain, disability, and diminished quality of life as a result of having this condition.
(Majumdar SR, Lier DA, Beaupre LA, Hanley DA, Maksymowych WP, Juby AG, et al. Osteoporosis case manager for patients with hip fractures: results of a cost-effectiveness analysis conducted alongside a randomized trial. Arch Intern Med. 2009 Jan 12. 169(1):25-31. [Medline].)
Despite the adverse effects of osteoporosis, it is a condition that is often overlooked and undertreated, in large part because it is so often clinically silent before manifesting in the form of fracture. For example, a Gallup survey performed by the National Osteoporosis Foundation revealed that 86% of all women aged 45-75 years had never discussed osteoporosis with their physicians, and more than 80% were unaware that osteoporosis is directly responsible for disabling hip fractures. Failure to identify at-risk patients, to educate them, and to implement preventive measures may lead to tragic consequences.
(National Osteoporosis Foundation. Gallup survey: women's...