Osteoporosis or porous bone disease leads to an increased risk of developing spontaneous and traumaticfractures.
When looking under the microscope, healthy bone’shoneycomb appearance is replaced with larger holes and thinner networks inosteoporotic bone. It is a chronic conditionof multifactorial etiology and related to various factors including menopause and aging. The bone massis modeled (grows and takes its final shape) from birth to adulthood: bone massreaches its peak (referred to as peak bone mass (PBM)) at puberty;subsequently, the loss of bone mass starts. Bone tissue iscontinuously lost by resorption and rebuilt by formation. After 40years however the resorption and formation process become imbalanced andresorption exceeds formation. Excessive bone loss is due to an increase inosteoclastic activity or as decrease in osteoblastic activity. As populationsage, the number of osteoporotic fractures in elderly people will increase.
Common sites of fragility fracture include the vertebral bodies, distal radius,proximal humerus, pelvis and proximal femur. Every fracture is a sign of another impending one. Itaffects 55% of Americans aged 50 or above, of which about 80% are women. Millionsof fractures occur annually. It is anticipated that by 2025, threemillion fractures will occur as a result of osteoporosis and cost more than $25billion annually. In allcountries, osteoporotic fractures are expensive and their costs are estimatedto increase on a per-fracture basis and also because the total number offractures is estimated to rise.
However, the net monetary burden depends on thehealthcare level and financial status of the country. With an advance diagnosis of this disease before fracturesoccur and by evaluatingthe bone mineral density and with prior treatment, osteoporosis can beprevented. Therefore, increasing awareness among doctors, which, in turn,facilitates increase awareness of the normal population, will be fruitful inpreventing this epidemic.