Do I have osteoporosis? How to diagnose this silent disease?
Many people show no signs, or symptoms of osteoporosis until they have a bone fracture. This common condition makes your bones weak and brittle without noticeable symptoms. So, if there are no signs, or symptoms how do you know if you are affected by this silent disease? At times there are “red flags” that you should be aware of and ask to have tested.
Look out for these symptoms
- Developing a hunched posture or progressive loss of height
- Sudden back pain without any obvious cause
- Experiencing a wrist, hip and spine fracture after a seemingly minor incident
Other factors that may increase risk of osteoporosis
- A lack of calcium, or a vitamin D deficiency
- Family history
- Drinking too much alcohol
- Eating disorders
- Certain medications including, but not limited to, prednisone, cortisone, prednisolone and dexamethasone
- No physical activity
- Previous fracture
- Experiencing early menopause (45)
As osteoporosis is a condition where bones become weaker and lose bone mineral density, traditional X-rays won’t work as they can’t measure bone density. In this case, the best option are bone mineral density (BMD) tests. BMD tests use small amounts of radiation to measure how many grams of calcium and other bone minerals are in a square centimeter of bone. This method not only help your doctor diagnose osteoporosis or osteopenia, but also predict fracture risk. There are several different types of BMD tests available, but the most commonly used is DXA (dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry).
Being aware of the risk factors and getting early assessment and treatment, if needed is the first step to prevent osteoporosis and enjoy a fracture-free life, even at an old age.
Learn more about Spine Surgeon in Boynton Beach – Matthew Hepler, M.D.
Dr. Matthew Hepler is an experienced spine surgeon in Palm Beach County, who offers expert, personalized medical care and state-of-the-art surgical procedures to treat a wide range of spinal conditions. Dr. Hepler is a Board Certified (ABOS) and fellowship trained orthopaedic spine specialist with more than 17 years of experience. He focuses on complex deformity and treats the full spectrum of spine conditions such as back pain, disc herniation, stenosis, sciatica, scoliosis, kyphosis, spine fracture, failed back surgery.
Dr. Matthew Hepler provides leading expertise with compassionate, individualized care throughout South Florida (Deerfield Beach, Boca Raton, Delray Beach, Boynton Beach, West Palm Beach, Fort Lauderdale). If you suspect you might have osteoporosis, schedule an appointment with our spine doctor who can test you for osteoporosis or osteopenia. If you have questions about osteoporosis, or you would like more information, please contact us.
The material contained on this site is for informational purposes only and DOES NOT CONSTITUTE THE PROVIDING OF MEDICAL ADVICE, and is not intended to be a substitute for independent professional medical judgment, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your health.