Capture the fracture
Harmony - Celebrate Age|December 2016

Fracture owing to osteoporosis can have a serious impact on a person’s health and quality of life. Dr Abhijit Y Pawar, consultant orthopaedic spine surgeon at Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital, speaks about the significance of timely intervention in preventing fractures

Dr Abhijit Y Pawar

Osteoporosis is a condition characterised by decrease in density and strength of the bones. It leads to skeletal weakness and frequent fractures. Bone loss is a natural part of ageing but not everyone loses enough bone density to develop osteoporosis. However, the older you are, the greater your chance of having osteoporosis. Back pain, caused by changes in the vertebrae, may be the first sign that something is wrong.

The risk factors for osteoporosis include deficiency of calcium and Vitamin D3, a sedentary lifestyle, female gender/post-menopause, ageing, a family history of osteoporosis, history of broken bones, smoking, alcohol, excessive intake of coffee and certain medical conditions like rheumatoid arthritis, celiac disease and overactive thyroid gland. Intake of some medications like corticosteroids and anticonvulsants for a long duration is also a risk factor.

Why the concern?

In India, there were 20 million reported cases of osteoporosis in 2005; this number increased to 25 million in 2008. And this is just the tip of the iceberg as many cases go unreported. According to the International Osteoporosis Foundation, one in three women above 60 and one in five men above 60 in India are likely to suffer from a fracture owing to osteoporosis. Despite its serious impact, the approximately 80 per cent of people at high risk and who have already had at least one osteoporotic fracture are not identified or treated. This fracture ‘epidemic’ is a serious challenge for healthcare authorities, social institutions and, ultimately, for patients and their families.

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Capture the fracture

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