Osteoporosis

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Osteoporosis is a debilitating bone disease that generally occurs in women over the age of 50, and the leading risk factor for the condition is diminished bone mineral density, or BDM.  Once appropriate BDM is disrupted, bones begin to lose strength and flexibility, increasing the possibility for severe fractures and breaks.  Osteoporosis usually affects women, although a small proportion of men also develop severe BDM-related issues.  Experts speculate that almost 33% of women and 20% of the men over 50 suffer from some form of osteoporosis.

While osteoporosis can weaken almost any bone in the body, there are certain bones that are more susceptible to fractures than others, each with its own degree of severity.  The most common bones broken due to osteoporosis are wrists, lumbar vertebrae, and hips. 

Wrist, or distal radius, fractures are some of the most complicated injuries, because they often fail to heal correctly even with the best medical treatment. As complicated as wrist fractures due to osteoporosis are, hip and vertebrae are far more grievous.

Vertebral fractures are often confused with backaches or unrelated conditions, but are often the first symptom of osteoporosis.  Almost 700,000 women will suffer their first vertebral fracture this year, although most will simply not be aware of their condition until it is properly diagnosed by a doctor. 

Hip fractures due to osteoporosis are far more dangerous, and experts speculate that 250,000 women will suffer a hip fracture this year.  Hip fractures are extremely painful and can cripple an otherwise healthy person, due to their failure to heal quickly or properly when and if they heal at all.  Hip fractures can also lead to a loss of mobility and even potentially life-threatening cardiovascular issues such as blood clots, pulmonary embolisms, and deep vein thrombosis.

Osteoporosis Treatment

Osteoporosis treatment usually involves a regimen of drugs to help strengthen bone density, but there are also studies that suggest that increasing intake of vitamin D and calcium supplements can help ward off the most severe effects of the disease.  Lifestyle and diet changes are also recommended for "at-risk" patients.  As most experts believe the first changes in bone density occur after the age of 30, women should begin adjusting their calcium intake to prevent bone mass loss.

Some doctors use hormone replacement therapy (HRT) drugs to replenish diminished estrogen levels, although these treatments are somewhat controversial because they can cause somewhat dangerous side effects.  There are also a number of other pharmaceuticals that are used to help treat osteoporosis.  Most of these drugs use substances called bisphosphonates to help rebuild and protect bones before they become fragile and prone to breakage.  Tragically, however, bisphosphonates such as Fosamax have been linked to the debilitating condition known as Osteonecrosis of the Jaw (ONJ) or Dead Jaw Syndrome.

This potentially devastating condition prevents the jawbone from healing properly after dental procedures and it can be quite serious.  If you are suffering from ONJ because of a lack of proper warning about the dangers involved in your osteoporosis drug treatment, you may have a right to take legal action against those responsible and you may be entitled to compensation for your physical and emotional distress.  Contact a dedicated and experienced defective osteoporosis drug attorney as soon as possible so that you can begin to get the answers and the compensation that you deserve today.

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Facts on Osteoporosis and it's treatment was updated on 6/28/2011