A gracious patient of mine allowed the show to film her during a kyphoplasty procedure. She is doing well and was an advocate for osteoporosis awareness. I have previously posted on osteoporosis but wanted to reiterate some facts you should know.
- Silent disease. Osteoporosis is a silent disease. There usually are no signs or symptoms. Often people don’t know they have osteoporosis until they get a fracture. I see patients in the emergency room with a broken hip and inform them they have osteoporosis. Often this is the first time they have been told they have osteoporosis.
- Epidemic of fractures. Over 700,000 spinal fractures per year occur in the U.S. This demonstrates how common this occurs in this country. These fractures can lead to altered balance, diminished physical function and loss of quality of life. Kyphoplasty can be a good choice if someone is not improving with nonoperative treatment.
- Not a random event. 1 in 2 women and 1 in 5 men will sustain a fracture in their lifetime. This illustrates how important weight-bearing exercises and an annual check up. I have included a post about exercise here to check out.
- What are signs of a spinal fracture? Low back pain can include a possible spinal fracture. Things to look out for include severe back pain that doesn’t improve over time, significant back pain with movement and night pain. These symptoms don’t necessarily mean you have a osteoporotic fracture. But you should keep the possibility in your mind if your back pain is not getting better. Your age is a predictor of a spinal fracture from osteoporosis. Older folks will have diminished bone density which leads to higher risk for osteoporosis.
- Prevention is key. It’s the old adage, “Use it or lose it.” Make sure to get out and exercise. Adequate calcium and Vitamin D is also key. A baseline bone density test is also important if you are at risk of osteoporosis. I have included a link for recommendations for bone density testing here.
The episode will air sometime in May and I will keep you posted on the details. That should give you enough time to get those tomatoes out:). The team on the show was fantastic and made it a great experience. Most importantly, it was a great venue to bring attention to this silent disease and treatment options. What thoughts or comments do you have? I would like to hear from you.