Posts Tagged ‘kyphosis’
Fractures get no respect. 20% of women and over 30% of men over 65 die within 6 months of a Hip Fracture. But nobody is worried about hip fractures!
Hip Fracture is never mentioned on the death certificate. The complications of the hip fracture get all the credit. Pneumonia, pulmonary embolis (blood clots), worsening heart failure, kidney failure or even septicemia (infection in the blood stream) from bed sores might make the list, but not the initial event, the hip fracture.
Nearly 80% of Vertebral Fractures are mistaken for pulled muscles or arthritis in the back. Yet vertebral collapse fractures are a strong indicator of death within the year in men and women. Again, pneumonia, heart failure, respiratory failure (shortness of breath), malnutrition from inability to eat enough get the blame. The vertebral fractures and resulting kyphosis (humpback) never get credit for the misery and death they cause.
More women die each year from complications of fractures than from breast cancer or stroke or heart attack. Nobody seems to care, because the fracture itself is never blamed for the complications it causes.
If we identified the original fracture starting the rapid decline, we would be more concerned with bone health and fracture risk. As it is we ignore fracture risk at our peril, especially as we get older like me (60’s).
Respect Fracture Risk. Take Control of your future.
Jay Ginther, MD
“Why did I Fracture?” and “Why do I have Osteoporosis?” are common questions I hear from older women and men. They are taking Calcium and Vitamin D3, eating a diet with Protein, Fruits and Vegetables, and Exercising regularly. They are “doing everything right”, and still they have deteriorating bones. What is wrong?
The simple answer is “Birthday Disease” – too many birthdays. Increased Fracture Risk (Clinical Osteoporosis) is totally natural as we age. Women after Menopause, and men after age 70, lose 1-2% of their Bone Mineral Density (BMD), and more of their Bone Strength, every year.
When I was in Medical School, 40 years ago, that was the end of the story. Many older women (and some older men) became kyphotic (stooped over), fractured and fell, and either died or went to a nursing home for the rest of their lives. Then, there was nothing we could do to stop it. Today we can often prevent osteoporosis, fractures and misery.
Fracture Risk is the elephant in the room. Fractures can keep you from doing what you want for weeks or months. Fractures can put you in a Nursing Home, sometimes forever. Complications of fractures can kill you. Fractures are what you want to avoid if at all possible.
Increased Fracture Risk was defined as Clinical Osteoporosis by NIH in 2000. We may still think of Osteoporosis as a T-score of -2.5 on DXA. This is inaccurate. Fracture Risk increases with age and other factors at any given T-score. Over 80% of the persons who fracture have a T-score better than -2.5 !!! Accurately calculating your true Fracture Risk requires a Complete Bone Health Evaluation.
Last time we discussed the disabilities caused by “humpback” kyphosis.
A major factor in “humpback” is weak back muscles. Upright posture decreases the strain of gravity pulling you forward. Strong back muscles maintain upright posture. A great exercise is to lie on your stomach and then lift your chest and thighs off the floor (or firm mattress). Do this several times a day.
Far more important is workplace posture. Too many of us slouch forward because our computer screens are below eye level. Adjust your work station so that you are comfortable sitting upright, looking straight ahead. If you are reading from a book or paper, use a slanted stand to bring your work to you. Don’t be a pretzel trying to bring yourself to your work.