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Osteoporosis FAQs (cont.)

What Are Complications of Osteoporosis?

The major complication of osteoporosis is fracture of bone. Depending on what bones fracture and how they fracture, there can be further complications. For example, if a spinal vertebra in the low back is collapsed by a compression fracture, this can cause bone to directly press against nervous tissue of the spinal cord, causing severe pain and loss of function of the lower extremities. Collapse of vertebrae in the upper back (thoracic vertebrae) can cause breathing to be difficult.

What Is the Prognosis for Patients With Osteoporosis?

With early treatment, the prognosis is better than with later treatment. Severe osteoporosis is dangerous. The key to optimal management of osteoporosis is detecting it as early as possible. Current bone density testing is a simple screening method that can be used to find thinning of bone. The medications now available to treat osteoporosis substantially reduce the risk of fractures in patients with osteoporosis.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 2/25/2016

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Osteoporosis »

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

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