A Guide to Prevention and Treatment

Osteoporosis is a silent disease in which the bones become weak and brittle and eventually are more prone to fractures. These fractures can occur even on minimal trauma. Usually, osteoporosis may occur in any affected bone; however the fractures typically occur in the hip, spine and wrist.

Unlike any other disease, osteoporosis exhibits no symptoms. Patients might not be aware of the disease until their bones become so weak that a sudden fall or twist causes their bones to break.

COE bone overview image


Osteoporosis can be diagnosed by taking a:

Bone Mineral Density Test
The diagnosis of osteoporosis is guided by the measurement of the amount of minerals in the patient’s bones by a special x-ray scan called Dual Energy X-Ray Absorptiometry (DEXA) scan. The test is painless and only takes a few minutes.

Blood and Urine Test
To check hormone levels and look for other conditions that could increase bone loss such as lack of vitamins or minerals.


Get enough calcium and vitamin D
Providing enough and adequate daily calcium and vitamin D is one of the safest and most inexpensive way to combat osteopo­rosis and to reduce the risk of fractures. It is recommended that adults under 50 need 1,000 mg of calcium daily while adults over 50 need over 1,200 mg of calcium daily. Calcium supple­ments can be beneficial in reducing bone mineral loss associat­ed with aging. However, these supplements do not reverse low bone density or fracture risk in patients with osteoporosis.

Proper Diet for bone health
Calcium is well known to provide strength to the bones. Patients can get their sources of calcium from yogurt, milk, cheese and dark green, leafy vegetables. Apart from calcium, vitamin D is also good for bone health. Vitamin D helps maintain blood calcium levels and promotes mineral deposits in the skeleton. Some good sources of vitamin D are eggs, ready-to-eat cereals, cod liver oil and mackerel.

Engage in regular exercise
Engage in regular weight-bearing exercises (walking, jogging, stairs climbing, dancing) and muscle-strengthen­ing exercises (weight-training) to reduce the risk of fractures resulting from falls and to increase bone density. However, patients who have not exercised before or suffer from medi­cal problems should consult their Doctor first.

Avoid smoking and limit alcohol intake
Patients are advised to stop or avoid smoking and limit their alcohol intake. Smoking cigarettes is known to increase bone loss and is detrimental to the skeleton as well as to the overall health. Smoking also can bring on early menopause and interfere with oestrogen therapy.



Currently, there is no cure for osteoporosis; however, there are several treatments available that can prevent further bone loss and improve bone strength. The main goal of treating osteoporosis is to prevent more bone loss and fractures. Medication, exercise and nutrition play a role in the treatment of osteoporosis. By following the treatment religiously, one can significantly reduce the risk of fractures.


If you are diagnosed with osteoporosis, your Doctor may recom­mend medications such as Bisphosphonates, Calcitonin, Hormone Replacement Therapy and other medications in accordance with your condition. There are benefits and side effects to each medication that should be discussed with your Doctor and Pharmacist.

Other treatments for osteoporosis include:

° Balanced diet rich in calcium and vitamin D
° Exercise
° Healthy lifestyle

Managing Osteoporosis

Apart from getting treatment for osteoporosis, it is recommend­ed that osteoporosis patients take precautions to manage the disease.

Fall Prevention

Reducing the risk of falls is important for osteoporosis patients in order to protect their bones. Be guided by your Doctor; however here are some general recommendations to decrease your chance of falls:
° Wear low-heeled shoes with non slip soles
° Remove hazards at home – check and look out for electrical cords, area rugs, slippery surfaces
° Keep rooms well lighted
° Install grab bars in bathroom
° Wear prescription glasses
° Consider wearing a hip protector
° Use a walking aid

The facts in the article were verified by:
Dr. Jeyaratnam Satkunasingam
Consultant Orthopaedic & Trauma Surgeon
Suite 427, 4th Floor
Mahkota Medical Centre
Brought to you by Mahkota Bone & Joint Replacement Centre

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