There is a process of constant bone remodeling, whereby old bone is replaced by new bone; however, this balance could be affected by several factors, and that is when osteoporosis appears.
Bone density, quality and remodeling are the "determinants of bone strength". The decrease of the density, the alterations of the quality and the accelerated bone remodeling would be causes that originate this disease that affects the bones, causing the decrease of the bone mass that forms them, of the proteins that constitute its matrix or structure and of the mineral salts of calcium that they contain.
As a result, the bone is more fragile than normal, which significantly increases the risk of fractures.
How is osteoporosis diagnosed? Through a test called bone densitometry, which measures the amount of skeletal bone mass.
Classification. Depending on the results, it is classified as:
- Normal: when the bone mineral density is greater than -1 standard deviation on the T scale.
- Osteopenia: when bone mineral density is between -1 and -2.5 standard deviation on the T scale (osteopenia is not included in osteoporosis and generally does not require drug treatment).
- Osteoporosis: if the bone mineral density is less than -2.5 standard deviation on the T scale.
- Established osteoporosis. When there is osteoporosis and this has caused a fracture.
The T scale refers to the average bone density of the healthy population of the same sex and 20 years of age.
It is estimated that one in three women and one in five men over 50 suffer from osteoporosis. This disease is responsible for millions of fractures annually, many of which involve the lumbar vertebrae.
Osteoporosis does not cause symptoms and usually goes unnoticed, which is why it has been called "the silent epidemic."
The clinical manifestations of osteoporosis appear as a consequence of its complications: fractures; however, there is the widespread error of considering that the loss of bone mass causes musculoskeletal pain.
Published in: Today Digital Newspaper