Osteoporosis Treatments for Men and Women Reviewed
More than 10 million Americans suffer from osteoporosis and an additional 34 million have decreased bone mass, according to Dr. Michael Craig, medical director of orthopedics at the Danbury Hospital Center for Advanced Orthopedic Care. That includes a steadily increasing number of male patients. He defined osteoporosis as a condition that robs your bone of its strength and affects both and women.
Osteoporosis is a progressive disease that causes irreversible weakening of bone. It’s so pervasive that one in two women and one in five men will sustain an osteoporotic related fracture over the age of 50. One out of every four people who sustain a hip fracture require outpatient rehabilitation for over a year.
“In 2005 the United State spent $52 million per day treating osteoporosis,” Dr. Craig said.
Some signs of osteoporosis are persistent unexplained back pain, shorting of height and increased difficulty standing up straight. Some risk factors include having a small or thin frame, old age, female in gender, Hispanic in ethnicity, smoking and a family history.
Women are hit particularly hard by osteoporosis. So much so that women can loose 20 percent of their bone mass within a five to seven year span. But men are also affected. Over two million men currently have osteoporosis. Patients are diagnosed based on medical history, physical exams, X- rays, lab testing and bone density scans. One of the best ways to inform a doctor with accurate information is to write down a list of symptoms and descriptions.
Prevention is really the key to defeating osteoporosis. Calcium, vitamin D and weight bearing exercise are essential to resisting the condition. However a doctor should be consulted for proper doses and parameters.
Dr. Craig said, “As a patient you need to ask, what can I expect from treatment, how will my daily activities be affected and how can I prevent further disabilities?”
Dr. Alla Rudinskaya, a rheumatologist at Danbury Hospital, spoke of the bone building and degradation process. “Osteoporosis is a silent disease, similar to high cholesterol,” Dr. Rudinskaya said.
Managing osteoporosis treatment can be very tricky for physicians because many medications used to treat other ailments, such as steroids, thyroid hormones and some anti-seizure medications, have bone loss as side effects. Over time a patient taking similar medications can develop osteopenia – a state in between normal bone density and osteoporosis.
“Fortunately osteoporosis can be prevented, diagnosed and treated,” Dr. Rudinskaya said.
Mary Sanders MSPT, physical therapist and aquatics team member of the Main Street Physical Rehabilitation Center of Danbury, spoke of the importance of posture, exercise and fall prevention.
About Danbury Hospital
Danbury Hospital is a 371-bed regional medical center and university teaching hospital associated with New York Medical College, the Yale University School of Medicine, the Connecticut School of Medicine and Columbia University Medical Center. The hospital provides centers of excellence in cardiovascular services, cancer, weight loss surgery, orthopedics, digestive disorders and radiology. It also offers specialized programs for sleep disorders and asthma management. Medical staff members are board certified in their specialties.
Danbury Hospital is ranked in the top 5 percent of hospitals in the country for overall clinical performance by HealthGrades®, a leading independent health care rating organization. It is the only health care facility in Connecticut ranked among the top 5 percent of hospitals nationwide for overall clinical performance four years in a row.
Danbury Hospital was ranked among the top 10 hospitals in Connecticut for overall orthopedic services two years in a row (2007-2008) and in 2008 ranked among the top five in the state for joint replacement. The hospital’s orthopedic program also received HealthGrades’ five-star ranking for total hip replacement and hip fracture repair.