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Spine Surgery Guide


Osteoporosis Overview

Osteoporosis is a disease characterized by low bone mass and loss of bone tissue that may lead to weak and fragile bones. If you have osteoporosis, you have an increased risk for fractured bones (broken bones), particularly in the hip, spine, and wrist.

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Osteoporosis Causes

Osteoporosis occurs when there is an imbalance between new bone formation and old bone resorption. The body may fail to form enough new bone, or too much old bone may be reabsorbed, or both.

Two essential minerals for normal bone formation are calcium and phosphate. Throughout youth, the body uses these minerals to produce bones. Calcium is essential for proper functioning of the heart, brain, and other organs.
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Osteoporosis Symptoms

Early in the course of the disease, osteoporosis may cause no symptoms. Later, it may cause dull pain in the bones or muscles, particularly low back pain or neck pain. Later in the course of the disease, sharp pains may come on suddenly.

The pain may not radiate (spread to other areas); it may be made worse by activity that puts weight on the area, may be accompanied by tenderness, and generally begins to subside in one week. Pain may linger more than three months.
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Exams and Tests

The doctor will usually begin with a careful history to determine if you have osteoporosis or if you may be at risk for the disease. You will be asked a variety of questions regarding lifestyle and other conditions that you may have. The doctor will also ask if you have a family history of osteoporosis or a history of previous broken bones. Often blood tests are used to measure calcium, phosphorus, vitamin D, testosterone, and thyroid and kidney function.

Based on a medical examination, the doctor may recommend a specialized test called a bone mineral density test that can measure bone density in various sites of the body. A bone mineral density test can detect osteoporosis before a fracture occurs and can predict future fractures. A bone mineral density test can also monitor the effects of treatment if the tests are performed a year or more apart and may help determine the rate of bone loss.
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This information is not designed to replace a physician's independent judgment about the appropriateness or risks of a procedure for a given patient.
Always consult your doctor about your medical conditions or back problem. We Care Health Services does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Use of the site is conditional upon your acceptance of our Terms and Conditions is a member of the medical tourism information network

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