Font Size

Osteoporosis FAQs

What Is Osteoporosis?

Osteoporosis (meaning porous bone) is a bone disease in which bone loss occurs, so that bones become weak and are more likely to break. Without prevention or treatment, osteoporosis can progress without pain or symptoms until a bone breaks (fractures). Fractures from osteoporosis commonly occur in the hip, spine, ribs, and wrist.

What Causes Osteoporosis?

Bones may seem like hard and lifeless structures, but they are in fact living tissue. Old bone is constantly broken down and remodeled (through a process called bony resorption) by our bodies, while new bone is simultaneously deposited. When bone is broken down faster than it is deposited, low bone mass (osteopenia) and osteoporosis can occur.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 1/7/2015

Must Read Articles Related to Osteoporosis FAQs

Osteoporosis Osteoporosis, a disease that causes bones to...learn more >>

Osteoporosis Screening

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommends that all women age 65 and older routinely have a bone mineral density test to test for osteoporosis. If you are at increased risk for broken bones caused by osteoporosis, routine testing should start sooner.



Read What Your Physician is Reading on Medscape

Osteoporosis »

Osteoporosis is a systemic skeletal disorder characterized by decreased bone mass and deterioration of bony microarchitecture.

Read More on Medscape Reference »

Medical Dictionary