Don’t let the saying “out of sight, out of mind” be your motto when it comes to your bones. Even though bones cannot be seen and are rarely felt, bones are an incredibly important part of your health and well-being! Here is a list of the various roles that bones serve in your body.
By any metric, this is an impressive list of accomplishments! Despite being such an important organ, your bones are actually quite modest. They don’t like to be the center of attention, so when they are healthy and doing their job well, they are unlikely to call it to your attention. Likewise, if they develop osteoporosis and become weak and brittle, you are unlikely to experience any symptoms of the disease.
Don’t let a lack of symptoms lull you into a false sense of security! Working in orthopedics, I have seen firsthand the pain, suffering, and disability that can result from osteoporosis-related fractures. The time to start protecting your bones is now, not after you break a bone!
So why should you care about your bones?
Osteoporosis is common.
- Over 200 million people worldwide suffer from osteoporosis, with 100s of millions additional men and women affected by low bone mineral density (osteopenia).
- 50% of women and 25% of men will break a bone due to osteoporosis in their lifetime.
- Each year, osteoporosis causes over 8.9 million fractures worldwide!
Osteoporosis is dangerous.
- Don’t let the lack of symptoms fool you… Osteoporosis can lead to painful fractures, permanent disability, loss of independence, and in some instances even death.
- Following a hip fracture, 24% of people will die within one year, another 20% of people will require permanent placement in a nursing home, and 66% of people will not return to the level of function they enjoyed prior to the injury.
Osteoporosis is treatable.
- Bone loss related to osteoporosis can be slowed or stopped with regular weight bearing exercise and a bone healthy diet.
- Osteoporosis medications have been shown to reduce the risk of breaking bones by an average of 50%, and upwards of 90% in some instances!
Despite the mountain of research that has been completed in the field of osteoporosis, the medical community still does a poor job of explaining the risks of this disease to our patients, and most people fail to grasp the reality of fractures. I’ve discovered that teaching the long term consequences of osteoporosis-related fractures is a powerful motivator for people to take action and improve their bone health.
Let’s look at the 5 most common broken bones in those with osteoporosis. Click on the images below to discover more about each of these types of fractures. Learn the facts, and when you are done, take the next step toward protecting your bones by reading about osteoporosis prevention!