Osteoporosis

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Osteoporosis is characterized by reduced bone mass and is the most common metabolic bone disease

Osteoporosis localized to one or both lower limbs is a common finding in people with paralysis due to neurological disease, in which cases it is considered to be a form of disuse atrophy. Reduction in general mobility and activity may be a factor in osteoporosis in the elderly.

Osteoporosis is seen as a common complication of prolonged corticosteroid therapy. It is particularly important when the corticosteroids are being administered for diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, in which there is also an element of disuse atrophy due to reduction in mobility. Osteoporosis can also be seen in some other endocrine disorders such as thyrotoxicosis and panhypopituitarism, and associations have been reported with liver disease and diabetes.

Osteoporosis is characterized by generalized reduction in the mass of bone, the bone being composed of abnormally thin trabeculae. It is widespread in the elderly and is an important cause of morbidity and even mortality, the weakened bone being particularly predisposed to fracture with minimal trauma.

In established osteoporosis, thinning of the cortical bone is combined with thinning and reduction in number of bone trabeculae. The consequences of osteoporosis are related to the general weakening of both cortical and trabecular bone.

There are several different predisposing factors for the development of osteoporosis.

It is most commonly encountered in post-menopausal women, when it is termed senile osteoporosis. It is believed that a major reduction in bone mass occurs in the 10 years after the onset of menopause, implying a hormonal influence for oestrogen in maintaining bone mass.

Osteoporosis localized to one or both lower limbs is a common finding in people with paralysis due to neurological disease, in which cases it is considered to be a form of disuse atrophy. Reduction in general mobility and activity may be a factor in osteoporosis in the elderly.

Osteoporosis is seen as a common complication of prolonged corticosteroid therapy. It is particularly important when the corticosteroids are being administered for diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, in which there is also an element of disuse atrophy due to reduction in mobility. Osteoporosis can also be seen in some other endocrine disorders such as thyrotoxicosis and panhypopituitarism, and associations have been reported with liver disease and diabetes.
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