About Loss of Bone Health
Your bones play many important roles in your body, such as providing your body with structure, protecting your organs, anchoring your muscles, and storing your body’s calcium supply.
Individuals reach peak bone mass typically between the ages of 25 and 30. Your peak bone mass can determine how likely you are to develop bone loss as you age. Complications associated with loss of bone health can affect your ability to participate in activities you love and cause loss of independence over time.
Risks Related to Loss of Bone Health
It is possible not to experience any symptoms related to loss of bone health until a complication arises.
Risks related to loss of bone health may include:
- Bone and joint pain
- Fragility fracture: Broken bone that occurs when low impact or minimal stress is placed on the bone, such as from a fall from standing height or less or even a cough or sneeze, that would not normally result in a fracture. If you have healthy bones, fragility fractures should not occur. Up to one-fourth of all men and nearly half of all women will suffer from at least one fragility fracture in their lifetime. Once you have suffered from one fragility fracture, your risk of suffering an additional fragility fracture increases by 2-4 times.
- Osteopenia: Loss of bone mineral density to below normal values that does not increase the risk of fragility fractures.
- Osteoporosis: Loss of bone mineral density that causes bone to become weak and brittle, which can put you at an increased risk of fragility fractures.
- Stress fracture
Risk Factors for Loss of Bone Health
Certain people are more likely to develop bone health problems over time.
Risk factors for loss of bone health may include:
- Age: Bone health tends to decline for decades after bones reach their peak density between ages 25-30.
- Health history: Once you have suffered from one fragility fracture, your risk of suffering an additional fragility fracture increases by 2-4 times. A history of corticosteroid treatment, celiac disease, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, and rheumatoid arthritis are also linked to loss of bone health.
- Personal history: Smoking and excess alcohol use can increase your risk of bone health problems.
- Sex: Women are at greater risk for bone health issues .
Treating Loss of Bone Health at UT Health Austin
Your bone health is dependent on multiple factors. If you have concerns related to your bone health due to a diagnosis of osteoporosis or if you have suffered a stress fracture or a fragility fracture, our team of specialists work with you to create a treatment plan that meets your unique needs. Treatment may include rehabilitation, exercise, and diet recommendations, prescribed medications, supplement guidance, and more.
Care Team Approach
At UT Health Austin, we take a multidisciplinary approach to your care. This means you will benefit from the expertise of multiple specialists across a variety of disciplines caring for you in one place to avoid having to schedule multiple appointments with providers at locations all over the city. The Musculoskeletal Institute care team includes orthopedic surgeons, sports medicine physicians, physician assistants, physical therapists, physiatrists, chiropractors, nurse practitioners, dietitians, social workers, and more who work together to help you get back to the things in your life that matter most to you.
We collaborate with our colleagues at the Dell Medical School and The University of Texas at Austin to utilize the latest research, diagnostic, and treatment techniques, allowing us to customize a treatment plan specific to you. Treatment may include nonsurgical interventions, such as lifestyle modifications, physical therapy, or medication and injections, or surgery may be the best course of action to help improve your pain and function. Advanced imaging and lab testing are also available on-site if needed.