Characterized by reduced bone density and increased weakness of the bones, osteoporosis is more common among women than men. As it affects bone health, the condition puts people at a higher risk of fractures. Depending on the severity of the condition, osteoarthritis treatment at a professional New York health care center can range from non-invasive and minimally invasive to orthopedic surgery.
Experts: Treatment Should Focus On Preventing Fractures
Bone loss leading to osteoporosis develops slowly and there are no symptoms or outward signs, which is why the condition may go undiagnosed until it has advanced. Recent research has found that a person with diagnosed or undiagnosed osteoporosis who has had a fracture has a three times higher risk of a secondary fracture. The National Osteoporosis Foundation reports that the results of the Icelandic study, Imminent Risk of Major Osteoporotic Fracture after Fracture, has led leading global scientific and medical organizations to call upon healthcare professionals to increase diagnosis and warn patients to be aware of this risk.
Degenerative joint disease, known as osteoarthritis, occurs when the cartilage of a joint wears away, causing the bones to rub against each other. This leads to joint pain, swelling, stiffness, and fractures, affecting mobility, range of motion, independence and quality of life. Commonly affected joints include the fingers, thumbs, shoulder, hips, spine and knees. Fracture risk is higher in people with a previous fracture due to a low-level injury, especially if this occurred after the age of 50. Fractures of the spine and hip which are caused by falls can even prove fatal.
The findings of the new study by researchers from University of Southampton in the U.K. were presented at the recent World Congress on Osteoporosis, Osteoarthritis and Musculoskeletal Disease held in April 2016 in Spain. The team examined the results of 118,872 men and women born between the years 1907 and 1935 who participated in Reykjavik study during 1967-1991. The experts studied fracture rates from the point of participation in the study until the end of 2012. The key points highlighted are:
- Currently, only 26% of patients who experience their first osteoporotic fracture are evaluated and treated
- This practice puts large numbers of patients at risk for life altering and preventable secondary fracture
- Proper diagnosis and treatment after the first osteoporotic fracture is necessary to prevent secondary fractures and further suffering
- Health care providers should focus on closing the 70 to 80 percent care gap for testing and treatment for patients over the age of 50 who have had a fracture
Osteoporosis Pain Treatment and Fall Prevention
In a reliable health care center, patients can expect accurate diagnosis of osteoporosis through a special X-ray-based scan and if needed, via ultrasound. The treatment provided would include pain management strategies, medication to prevent or slow down bone loss, exercise programs, chiropractic care, physical therapy, rehabilitation and dietary adjustments. Established facilities offer slip and fall prevention programs for older adults with the goal to identify and modify the factors that increase their risk of falling, improve balance and gait, and enhance independence. Such focused, customized treatment regimens go a long way in improving the quality of life of people with osteoarthritis and other debilitating medical conditions.