Osteoporosis is a condition in which bone mineral density is reduced leading to an increased risk of fracture. The condition is common in post-menopausal women or may be associated with chronic disease or steroid medication. Fragility fractures occur in the spine, rib, hip and wrist. Multiple spinal fractures may lead to a stooped posture and chronic spinal pain.
Diagnosis is with history, examination and a bone density scan.
Preventative measures include lifestyle changes, good diet and regular exercise. Treatment of the underlying condition may include oestrogen replacement therapy, bisphosphonates, calcium, vitamin D, weight bearing exercise and fall prevention equilibrium therapy. Treatment of pain, often associated with vertebral fracture includes medication, epidural and nerve root injections, and vertebroplasty.