What is osteoporosis?

Updated: Aug 27, 2020
  • Author: Monique Bethel, MD; Chief Editor: Herbert S Diamond, MD  more...
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Answer

Osteoporosisis, in which low bone mass and structural deterioration of bone tissue lead to an increase in bone fragility, is the most common metabolic bone disease in the United States. [1, 2] Osteoporosis can result in devastating physical, psychosocial, and economic consequences, but it is often overlooked and undertreated, in large part because it is clinically silent before manifesting as fracture. (See the image below.)

Osteoporosis of the spine. Observe the considerable reduction in overall vertebral bone density and note the lateral wedge fracture of L2.

Osteoporosis of the spine. Observe the considerabl Osteoporosis of the spine. Observe the considerable reduction in overall vertebral bone density and note the lateral wedge fracture of L2.

See Menopause: Changes and Challenges, a Critical Images slideshow, to help identify comorbidities and diseases in the postmenopausal population.


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