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Osteoporosis

This is a disease that causes your bones to weaken.  It is literally a condition of porous bones. Older women are at increased risk of osteoporosis due to lower oestrogen concentration occurring after menopause.  In fact, the disorder primarily affects middle-aged and elderly people – 80% of them being women. However, men also suffer from the disease and findings have indicated that low calcium intake, smoking and excessive alcohol intake can put both men and women at risk. Essentially, the loss of bone quality and loss of bone mass makes it more likely for bones to fracture.  Even small daily activities can cause a vertebra fracture.  These fractures are called vertebra compression fractures and give rise to acute or chronic pain. These fractures can be surgically repaired via a procedure known as a balloon kyphoplasty.

Symptoms of a vertebral compression fracture include:

  • Sudden onset of back pain, unrelated or out of proportion to activity.
  • Back pain that occurs over a significant period of time (8-10) weeks
  • Back pain that becomes more intense when sitting, standing or walking
  • Significant loss of height
  • Your spine is curved forward (dowager’s hump).

If you have a history of post-menopausal osteoporosis, cancer, multiple myeloma or you have been taking corticosteroids for a longer period of time, you may be at a greater risk of incurring a vertebral compression fracture.