Patient Education Guide: Osteoporosis

April 2006 
Volume 36  Number 4
Pages 48 - 49
  PDF Version Available!


Nurse Practitioner, Olathe Medical Systems, Inc., Olathe, Kan.; Consultant, Continuing Nursing Education, Kansas City Community College, Kansas City, Kan. What is osteoporosis?

Osteoporosis is a thinning of the bones. Normally, the inside of a bone looks like a honeycomb. If you have osteoporosis, the spaces in the honeycomb get larger and the bone's hard outer shell gets thinner. This makes the bone weaker and it breaks more easily.

Figure. No caption available.

You may not know you have osteoporosis until a sudden strain, bump, or fall causes a bone to break. You may start getting shorter or develop severe back pain or a hunched back as bones in your spine get weaker and are pushed closer together.

Am I at risk for osteoporosis?

Women are more likely to get osteoporosis than men because they have less bone mass to begin with and because they lose bone mass after menopause. But men can develop osteoporosis ...

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