More than 1.3 million osteoporosis-related fractures are reported in the United States each year. Click here to read tips on maintaining a healthy bone mass.
Osteoporosis is a condition in which the skeleton contains a smaller total quantity of bone tissue than normal for the age, sex and culture of the patient. Skeletal growth usually peaks at about age 20 and by age 65, most people have lost 30 percent of the bony tissue they had at their peak of skeletal maturity. Because of this, osteoporosis is described medically as a phenomenon rather than a disease or pathologic condition.
A person with osteoporosis has a less than normal amount of bone tissue for their age, sex and culture in addition to a clinical disability, often in the form of consequent vertebral compression fractures, which occur spontaneously or as a result minor incidents that would not harm the average person.
Therefore, if a person has an osteoporotic skeleton without having the associated clinical disabilities, the patient may have some other medical problem. "The significance is that the medical disease, not the skeleton, needs treatment." *
Ordinary X-ray views of the spine can reveal the osteoporosis. In addition, a patient may reveal a history of fractures following minor trauma and may complain of disability because of skeletal pain.
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