Article Written by Ronald W. Orso, M.D., FACOG, FACS
Osteoporosis causes bones to become weak and brittle-so brittle that a fall or even mild stresses, such as bending over or coughing can cause a fracture. As we age, both men and women lose bone strength, but an abnormal loss results in osteopenia and then osteoporosis. Osteoporotic fractures usually involve the hip, wrist and spine. It affects women six times more often than men and is especially prevalent after menopause. White and Asian women are at highest risk. Fractures are responsible for considerable pain and disability and one in every five women over age 65 that fall and fracture a hip will die from the event within the next 12 months. For those who don’t die from the fracture, many will fracture the other hip within the next 24 months and it is usually the beginning of a long downward spiral of decreasing health and mobility.