Are you over 50? Have you noticed your posture has started to slump? Do you have back pain?
You may be showing signs of osteoporosis, a disease that can affect your daily activities and lead to life-threatening injuries.
Our board-certified doctors at Orthopaedic Specialists of Austin can treat your osteoporosis and teach you how to prevent it from worsening.
What Is Osteoporosis?
Osteoporosis is a condition in which bones become brittle and fragile due to loss of bone mass. This makes them susceptible to breaks or fractures.
The Symptoms Of Osteoporosis
If you have lost an inch or more in height, you should reach out to your doctor to see if osteoporosis is the underlying cause.
You should see your doctor if you have a change in posture that causes you to stoop or have a hunchback.
Suffer Back Pain
In more advanced stages of osteoporosis, you may start to have back pain, especially in the lower back due to fractured or collapsed vertebrae.
Experience Bone Fractures
The most common sign of osteoporosis is a bone fracture. This happens in the later stages and is typically when people find out they have bone loss. Bones can become so brittle that patients suffer fractures from simply coughing or breathing.
The Development Of Osteoporosis
Our risk of developing osteoporosis increases with age.
Are You Showing Signs of Osteoporosis? Request a Consultation
When left untreated, osteoporosis can have a major impact on your day-to-day life. Daily activities or going to work may become too painful. Once bones become fragile, they break easily, especially the bones in the hip, spine, and wrist. Early assessment and treatment can reduce your risks.
If you are suffering from any osteoporosis symptoms or if there is a history of the disease in your family, reach out to Orthopaedic Specialists of Austin. Founded in 2004, we have convenient locations in Cedar Park, and Austin, TX, where we can assess your condition and tailor a treatment plan for your stage of the disease.
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The Treatment Of Osteoporosis
Bisphosphonates are a group of drugs that can prevent bone loss and the loss of bone density. They work by stopping your body from re-absorbing bone tissue. Bisphosphonates have been shown to lower the risk of fractures in women suffering from osteoporosis after menopause.
Low-dose Hormone Therapy
Gradually increasing estrogen in women and testosterone in men can help prevent further bone loss. Most of these replacement hormones can be taken orally and are effective at helping prevent injuries due to osteoporosis.
There are several prescription medications available for those who have been diagnosed with osteoporosis. Based on your needs and medical history other pharmaceutical options might be a good fit for your treatment.
What Puts Me at Risk For Developing Osteoporosis?
Many risk factors cannot be changed or prevented. Your gender, for example. Women are more likely than men to lose bone mass. Age is another factor. The older you get, the less bone mass can be restored. If osteoporosis runs in your family, you are more likely to develop the disease. Race can also play a factor as people of Caucasian or Asian descent are more likely to suffer bone loss. Your body frame size also plays a role, as petite people may have a greater risk of developing the condition since they have less bone to lose.
Certain hormonal imbalances can put you at greater risk for decreasing bone density. Lower levels of estrogen at menopause are one of the leading risk factors for osteoporosis. Lower levels of testosterone in men can also accelerate the rate of bone loss. People who have an overactive thyroid are at risk because too much thyroid hormone causes bone loss.
Calcium and vitamin D are two building blocks for creating and maintaining healthy bone. This makes people with eating disorders more likely to have bone loss since they are not getting the vitamins and minerals they need to build bone. Similarly, people who have undergone gastrointestinal surgery could be more at risk if the surgery either reduces the size of the stomach or removes part of your small intestine. Reducing the surface area in your gastrointestinal tract can curb the absorption of nutrients like vitamin D and calcium that are needed for bone growth.
Long-term use of certain medications can put you at greater risk of losing bone density. Oral or injectable corticosteroids can interfere with bone rebuilding. Other medications used to prevent seizures, cancer, gastric reflux, and transplant rejection have also been linked to osteoporosis.
Certain underlying medical conditions like cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, kidney or liver disease, and celiac disease have all been linked to osteoporosis. Some medical conditions require you to take medication that can hamper bone regrowth. Other medications can impair your ability to absorb calcium and vitamin D in your diet.
Certain lifestyle choices can put you at greater risk of bone loss. People who live a predominantly sedentary lifestyle are more at risk for developing osteoporosis. Weight-bearing exercises are a great way to increase bone mass and prevent bone loss. If you are sedentary, you are not giving your body the exercise it needs to maintain bone health. Excessive alcohol consumption and tobacco use can contribute to a decrease in bone density as well.
Don't Let Your Osteoporosis Worsen Contact Our Office To Begin Treatment
At Orthopaedic Specialists of Austin, our board-certified doctors can work closely with you to manage the disease. Our mission is to utilize the latest techniques in medicine to give you the least-invasive treatment options that provide effective results.
Proper treatment can help slow or prevent the progression of osteoporosis and help you avoid severe injuries.
I Want to Start Osteoporosis Treatment
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How To Diagnose Osteoporosis
Osteoporosis is typically identified by a bone density scan, which measures your bone mineral density. This is commonly done with a special type of X-ray called a central dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA). This X-ray will be able to tell your doctor if your bone density levels are normal. Other tests, such as a CT scan or MRI imaging can be used to assess issues in the spine that may be related to osteoporosis.
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