More than 1.3 million osteoporosis-related fractures are reported in the United States each year. Click here to read tips on maintaining a healthy bone mass. The most common type of spine fracture resulting from osteoporosis is the compression fracture. Osteoporosis is a condition in which the skeletal bone contains a smaller quantity of healthy bone tissue than what is expected for the patients age, sex and ethnicity. The predominant quantity of skeletal growth usually peaks by 20. By age 65, most people have lost 30 percent of the bony tissue they had at their peak of skeletal maturity. Because of this, osteoporosis is described medically as a phenomenon rather than a disease or pathologic condition.
A person with osteoporosis has a less than normal amount of bone mass in addition to a clinical disability, often in the form of consequent vertebral compression fractures. These fractures can occur spontaneously or as a result minor incidents that would not harm the average person or through a fall or other traumatic event.
The presence of osteoporosis or osteopenia is a concern for the patient considering spine surgery as the procedure directly involves the bone. Testing involved in determining bone quality can include a DEXA scan, as well as evaluation of Calcium, Vit D and Testosterone levels. Please be advised, although this is commonly considered a disease primarily effecting females, it is also present in the male population. Please talk with your family doctor about the diagnosis and treatment of this condition.